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.
This is the last of my series where I’d like to share with you my life with each of my Core Desired Feelings: show you what they mean to me and how I integrate them into my life.
The last Core Desired Feeling is…Love.
What does it mean to me?
To deeply connect with someone else.
It’s not so much because I’m a romantic at heart (romcoms and chick lit are torture for me!), but rather because it is one of the most transformative feelings that I have.
Love allows me to sit here and be entirely who and what I am. It’s an expanding feeling that lets me ease into my space to begin with. It allows me to approach people and life like a blank sheet – no prejudices, no stories, no attachments, just entirely open to what is.
It’s a kind of Freedom.
I feel deeply connected with someone else when I can understand who they are, what they’re thinking and feeling, and what their opinions and values are about the world we’re in.
Love also means for me: focus, or attention.
Whatever I focus on, grows. That can be good and bad:
It can be good if I decide to focus on what I’m grateful for and what I love in my life, because I inevitably end up going out and doing those things that I love more often, or meeting the people I love most in my life more often, or even turning around my finances in leaner times.
When I feel good, I focus more on the good things, and that generally brings more good things into my life.
It can be bad if I end up, one way or another, focusing on all the things that are stressing me out, or worrying about difficult situations I’m in or on the cusp of being in, or just grinding my axe against something I’m in and fight-fight-fighting.
When I feel bad, I focus more on the bad stuff, and that generally brings more bad things into my life.
Now, those are not rules that are set in stone by any means – sometimes, shit happens, and the only way is through it, with all the gory glory that brings; and sometimes, miracles happen, and again, the only way is through it, with the exquisite highs and floating back down to normality (< is that a word? No idea. I’m using it anyway).
Why the word “Love” over other words?
I could’ve chosen other words: “Cherish”, “Connection”, “Intimacy”…among others.
But whilst those words are good words to describe the feeling, they don’t evoke it within me in the same simple way that the word Love does. Even saying the word “Love” tugs a smile at my lips.
If saying the word elicits a physical reaction – either in feeling something, or it makes you smile thinking or saying the word – that’s a keeper. If the physical reaction is bad, that’s not one to keep at all.
For example, the word “Connection” kinda scares me: it makes me feel like I absolutely must connect with people whether I want to or not, and here’s the kicker – I’m a raging introvert, in that I get my energy from being alone with my own company, not so much from being surrounded by people all the time (and yes, “people” includes my other half and even little Missy-kins!).
Of course, that’s not at all what Connection actually means or how it can be integrated. Many other Desire Mappers have “Connection” as one of their Core Desired Feelings – in fact, it’s such a popular Core Desired Feeling that it made it into the Core Desired Feeling Tattoo collections* – but that’s how it feels to me when I say “Connection” – it’s just a no-go word for me.
Don’t worry too much about no-go words – with Core Desired Feelings, you’re after the feeling, and hopefully you can encapsulate it within a word and evoke that feeling when you say the (pass-)word.
How do I use “Love” to guide my goals?
Simple: when I think about my potential goal, does it feel like a whole-body YES?!
If YES! – then go for it
If it’s more of an “Erm…let me think about it” – it’s unlikely to fly, because it means I’m relying on motivation to get me there rather than inspiration.
Love – much like Freedom – is my inspiration behind the goals I choose. It’s a gut reaction, either YES!…or maybe not.
Motivation requires persuasion to persue the goal.
“I want to learn to ride motorbikes because that feeling of FREEDOM is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced, and it’s my reason for living – I gotta have it, I gotta go touring, I gotta adventure and stretch my life beyond what I think is possible!” > inspiration to take up motorbiking – feeling on top of the world every time I ride.
“I want to learn to ride motorbikes and scooters because it costs less in fuel, taxes and maintenance, and I can filter through traffic to get to work and back faster. Overall, I save £xxx per year. Weekend riding and jollies? You’ve gotta be kidding, why would I want to ride for fun?” > motivation to take up motorbiking – saving money. Not gonna love it. Buh.
Love is the inspiration behind my goal-setting.
What do I do each day to feel that CDF?
Music – of course!
I spend time trying to understand someone or something.
Thich Nhat Hanh once said that to love something or someone is to understand them. I thoroughly agree – because it’s only when you understand that you can act from your best intentions and inspirations, and sometimes, that takes time and effort! But even if it takes time and effort, it’s almost always for the better for all sides.
Spending time with me, myself and I
And by this I mean: looking after myself like how I would look after my most loved one – duvet nights to catch up on documentaries or TV series I’ve missed, a long bath, writing/journalling, cooking and eating yummy meals primarily for myself but for anyone else in the house who wants it too, stretching out, motorbiking, meditating, wild idling, give myself a facial and treating my hair once a week…
If I don’t do those things to take care of myself, within a couple of weeks I notice it: stress seeps in without reprieve, I just feel down, and after a while I can barely function. It’s quite a quick downhill crash for me.
Some people would call this kind of thing self-love. I prefer to call it self-care, or honouring myself instead, because “self-love” is a loaded term that can easily bring in the wolves of judgment,
Do I deserve it?
Am I worthy?
Is there a point?
Because even if my natural reaction is always “YES OF COURSE!”, when I’m down in the dumps, I only half believe it.
Because I’ve got so much I need to do, too many people are relying on me, I can’t let them down, I can’t let myself down either, and I definitely can’t let my dreams down, and if I take time out then it’ll all fall apart and I’ll be even more useless and alone wah wah yada yada tick BOOM…hello burnout.
Here’s a catch:
You have to believe it 100%, unequivocally, honestly, that you are allowed to honour yourself, and that might involve having to get over the fact that the world will go on whether you’re there to contribute to it or not.
The world will keep turning. Tomorrow will come.
Regardless of what you do today.
Might as well take a little time out to rest up so that I can handle tomorrow well too, y’know.
Spending time with people, creatures or places that make me feel good.
It’s an easy win that’s easy to forget, but spending time with people, creatures or places that feel good is a wonderful thing too. For me, it’s the usual things: spending time with my other half, friends and family, pestering the over-cuddly Missy-cat, spending time in woodlands, being in Austria…
These are the things that I feel Love for and receive Love from.
Love is a cycle of energy that will always loop back to you when you give it freely.
With Love and laughter,
*This is my affiliate link to the Core Desired Feelings Tattoo collection from Danielle LaPorte, meaning that if you click on the link and buy it, I’ll get a little coffee money from it. Now I’d never promote anything unless I wholeheartedly believe in it, but if you’d prefer to browse the Core Desired Feelings Tattoo collection without that, here’s the aff-free link: www.daniellelaporte.com/shop/core-desired-feelings-tattoo-collection-3/