A New Year. The Desire Map. Feelings That Aren't Feeling-y Enough.

Since my last post I spent a week in New Orleans, a week in Southern California, and have now ushered in the new year at home in Salt Lake City. Photos of these trips will be posted shortly, btw. For now, however, I need to talk to you about The Desire Map.

I've posted about The Desire Map on this site before; primarily declaring that I knew it was out there, skating around it because I'm afraid of it, and acknowledging it would kick my emotional ass once I let it. Well, friends, I'm finally tackling it. I read it on all of my plane rides to and fro. I spent the entire day today (01 January 2014!) making my way through the workbook and trying to settle on my Core Desired Feelings. I also committed to my power word for 2014.

My power word and my experience with The Desire Map are so cosmically intertwined that I cannot talk about one and not the other. My 2013 power word was ABUNDANCE. I focused on (re)training my brain out of a scarcity mindset and believing and trusting and knowing there's enough of everything and all of that jazz. Well, The Universe flooded me with abundance and I now need to get out of my own way. I need to let it all flow through me and stop trying to control it, second guess it, one up it, over analyze it, and generally screw it up. Entre my 2014 power word: OPEN. My 2014 power phrase, more accurately: OPEN TO MAGIC.

I'm an academic through and through. Over half my life has been spent in school, college, a graduate program, professional certification courses, and my entire professional career has been built within the academy as well. The concept of magic, of faith, of things that cannot be explained, of something happening that I myself did not create and control...it's all a bit foreign. At least, it feels more foreign to me now that it ever has before. I think I used to be open. I think I used to be open to magic even. I used to be quite a romantic, really. You'd never know it if you met me for the first time today. Even though, at my core, I'm divinely feminine and unnervingly intuitive, the woman you'd meet on the street today is rational and precise and hyper logical and in control and pulled together and cynical and on top of it and you get the idea. I need to soften it up a bit. I need to be open again, open to letting all the energy and abundance flow in and out and around me, fluid and flexible. I need to let myself lean in to a bit of magic.

Enter my desire mapping process. I read the entire book. I powered through over a hundred workbook pages. I color coded. I dog eared. I post-it tabbed. I rocked it. I'm doing this. I'm making a list of Core Desired Feelings. I'm researching the etymology and combing through the thesaurus. I'm coding my qualitative research and identifying patterns. I'm failing already. I end up with a final list of words that make perfect sense and accurately identify my Core Desired Feelings, but they have no razzle dazzle, no sex, no magic, no...emotion. Hashtag irony. My entire mantra for the year is to be OPEN TO MAGIC and I've created the perfect list of core desired feelings...that don't feel like anything. They are not vulnerable. They are not open. They are not magical. Well, fuck.

I leave it for a while. I watch a few episodes of The Daily Show on hulu while I cook and laugh it off. When I return to the list I tell myself, "You're not being honest. Just say it. 'In Communion' is the perfect phrase for what you want to feel at your core, but to you the words feel patriarchal and Catholicish. So what if it's perfect...if it doesn't feel perfect to you?! Just say it. Be as simple as possible." I re-do the list three more times.

As of now, my Core Desired Feelings, including my 2014 power phrase:


I waffled between "abundance" and "abundant" for a good 45 minutes. I'm still waffling. I had "healthy" in the list, but know that "strong" will get my ass to the gym with greater gusto. I discussed my reaction to the phrase I lovehate: "in communion." I had four iterations of my list that included "secure/free" as one word. That whole "secure/free" thing is a barrel of monkeys I will unpack throughout this whole year, but for now, I'm committed to the core core core, which is free.

In all honesty, I still don't think I'm there yet. I still don't feel these words are the very core of me. I still sense they are masking a bit of...something. I do know, however, that done is better than perfect. I also know that I will work through a month with these words and revisit them. I also also know that as I unravel more and more and more layers of my 2014 power phrase, I will inevitably unravel more and more and more layers of my desired feelings. I'll reach the core. I'm not there yet, but I will be.

I will be.

Love and desire,

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