When I first started getting my special words, those ones that describe exactly how I want to feel, those words that resonate deeply for me, I was in a weird place. I had just started a two week trip thousands of miles from home and almost before I began I injured my knee to the point that I couldn’t walk. So there I am at a nine-hour Desire Map workshop, doing the things I needed to do to go deep enough to find the right words.
Not all of them stuck, but a couple did. The first word I came up with was content and another one was present. I like the fact that both these words have double meanings, even though for “content” I mostly mean “at peace with the present moment” and for “present” I mostly mean “be here now.”
It was no accident that I chose those words. I had to find contentment in the present reality. On vacation with an injury that makes it impossible to walk through an airport, difficult to be on an airplane, and just a plain old pain in the ass, really, if you want to know the truth. I wanted to feel content with that and present with that. And guess what? I did.
The Desire Map workshop kicked off my vacation, and it’s a very good thing, as my usual way of behaving when something goes horribly wrong is to be a big baby, stay in bed, and pull the covers over my head. I really couldn’t do that as the whole purpose of my trip was to visit family, including a new family member who had only recently landed on the planet. Also I was staying with my kids for part of the trip and you can’t stay with people and hide in the bedroom. I needed to be present and content.
And thanks to Laura, I was. I still am. Oh and I’m still laid up, too. It’s been exasperating and enlightening, relaxing and irritating. But I have been most content to be present with these passing feelings, focusing instead on how I want to feel, my core desired feelings as Danielle LaPorte calls them.
Not being very mobile has enabled me to enter deeply into the work laid out in the Desire Map. I have refined my words, dropped a few, added others. One word I did not have when I started naming my core desired feelings was something to express the way I feel when I write or do other creative things. “On fire inspired” is kind of an antonym of “content” but I wanted a balance of both. So I added On Fire Inspired to my words.
I am not sure why I can’t just be satisfied with a more simple “inspired.” I only know that I am not. So On Fire Inspired it is. And then I had to add balance which has been a big word for me for many years. I’ve come a long way finding my balance, both literally through yoga and figuratively through meditation. So I wanted that word in there. My words actually kind of make sentences. I even did three of them like a math problem a few times. “On fire inspired + content = balance”
My other words make a sort of sentence too “authentic present love.”
It’s obvious why I didn’t feel the need to be “on fire inspired” on vacation. I was taking a break. Filling the well. And then I had other things to deal with…like remaining present and content. I played around with using a word to signify radiant health or some such thing, but then I thought, no, “content” covers that. If I feel pretty good in my body, then I am content. I am healthy if I can radiate authentic present love.
Anyway, that’s the picture at the moment. The thing about the words is they can change anytime I feel like they need to…and when I got back home, and back to writing my novel, I needed to feel, I really missed that feeling I get when writing. It’s my favorite feeling in the world (except maybe love but then it is a kind of love so never mind) … what was the one perfect word? The way I feel when I am flowing in the writing or some other project that inspires me is too big for one word. When I got “on fire inspired” I didn’t care if it broke the rules. I was keeping it.
It made me feel good just to have those words in my list. And something else happened when I added “on fire desire” to the words that describe my core desired feelings. I got what this whole Desire Mapping thing is about on another level. Feelings first, then experiences that bring those feelings on in a heady rush. If I am not feeling on fire inspired when I write (I have been experiencing some boredom in the old writing mode) I know that I need to move to a different experience because I love feeling on fire inspired and I need to feel that way every day for a few hours before I come down to content and balanced.
I realized there are other things I can do that create that same feeling. If I’m writing and I’m not there, I can find something else that will get me moving in the direction I want my feelings to go. It can be something as simple as creating a collage or as complicated as cleaning out the pantry. So that’s why I’m blogging today instead of writing the next chapter of my book. Because I thought about this post before I wrote it and I felt that feeling… You got it: on fire inspired!