The Desire Map

Daniele LaPorte“Desire leads the way home.” ~ Danielle LaPorte

I needed to write here today. I only ever write for one listener, and today it’s you. Synchronicity. I don’t know what led you here, but I hope you get something from the connection. It’s been a while.

I committed blogging suicide three years ago, abandoning my blog and the blogging community I’d become part of;  I wasn’t in great health and my family needed me, but I’d also accepted that blogging was doing me more harm than good.

Small blogs thrive with lots of mutual support and respect, but I find reciprocal blogging – blogging with integrity – really time consuming. The day I realised I was reading more blog posts than books, writing more comments than blog posts and spending more time struggling with my integrity than I was writing for pleasure, I walked off into the sunset and never looked back.

In the time I’ve been Rip Van Winkling, some of my colleagues’ blogs and businesses have gone from strength to strength, but many familiar bloggers have boarded up, moved on and settled somewhere else. The blogging community I was part of feels like a ghost town now, full of abandoned blogs, broken links and dried up blogrolls blowing through like tumbleweed. Vibrant blogs that used to be full of laughter and companionship stand deserted, their once welcoming doors swinging and creaking in the silence, the odd forlorn comment left hanging like a torn curtain.

So what brought me back here when I could have dived in and joined the party over at Facebook, Twitter and a dozen other social media sites? In a world where instant connection is a phone click away, what led me to start all over again with empty comment boxes and a clunky, homemade, out-of-date site that should really be shrunk into a scrapbook or put out of its misery?

Danielle LaPorte and crochet. More about the crochet another day.

So why Danielle? I read and loved Style Statement: Live by Your Own Design years ago and resonated with Danielle’s quest for authentic, passionate, intentional living. It was so much fun working through the book and distilling my style down to two symbolic words; when I reread it recently, I was amazed to realise that the words I chose all those years ago still express my authentic essence.

Danielle is savvy and charismatic and her words leap off the page, inspiring you to grab a notebook, hone in on your unique style and design an intentional life. After Style Statement, came her book The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful and Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your own Terms which was based on her workshops of the same name.

Fire Starter Session 3: The Strategy of Desire is a life changer. It slaps you in the face with its simple heart logic, and you simply can’t ignore it. Danielle herself suggests that the following section “…could be the single most important takeaway from this book.”

“How do you want to feel?

Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have.

Generating those feelings is the most creative thing you can do with your life.”

Just when I was enjoying The Fire Starter Sessions and thinking this is what I need, to read powerful books again, to be inspired by the overflowing desire to share what I learn, to share what moves me and shifts my awareness, I stumbled on this, Danielle’s new book which grew out of  Fire Starter Session 3…

The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul

What can I say? I bought it a few months ago, I loved it and it’s still working! I had fun with it and enjoyed all the honing in and drilling down. (Oh, and the questions!…a coach’s dream collection of awareness heighteners, strength finders, curiosity cultivators and provocative layer strippers!) I carried it to cafés and started quotehunting again. I was inspired – and compelled – to share it with you in case anything Danielle has to say could be of use to you. Working through the book was revealing, energising and uplifting – sometimes bittersweet; we often get to what we want by knowing with a passion what we don’t want. Almost everything I’ve done today – and every day since reading the book –  has been in alignment with what Danielle calls my Core Desired Feelings, the distilled essence of how I want to feel in every area of my life. Knowing how I want to feel makes every choice, every decision, every action, purchase and conversation so much easier.

How about you? How do you want to feel, this moment, today, every day, in every part of your life?




  1. Hi Janice .. I’ve left this open to read again later though I did watch the clip .. and it’s interesting to say the least ..

    It’s good to see your blog pop up .. as I posted your comment on my Ubuntu post .. it had disappeared into comment moderation .. sometimes comments wind up there .. no idea why!

    I was wondering what you were going to be doing .. all the best and perhaps we can stay in touch via email .. if you can whizz me one down – emails on my site ..

    Cheers and enjoy the brighter days, and warmer times .. Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…J is for Jellyfish, Jellies, Jewels and John Dory …My Profile

    1. Hi, there. Thanks, as always, for popping over. If you want to get a better sense of Danielle’s style, check out her website, maybe start with the Truthbombs. Despite her directness and often over the top, unabashed media savvy and presence, her work resonates with me because there’s poetry and power in her actual writing. ‘Pith’ is a word that also comes to mind. Back when I was immersed in coaching, way before I started up the blog, my network of colleagues, clients and influences was mainly from North America, and even back then, Danielle was a big hitter with a stellar future.

      You were wondering what I plan to do? Be myself. The healthiest, most authentic version of myself possible. If I keep the blog live, I’ll write longer pieces when the mood takes me or do my usual patchwork posts of quotes, photos, reviews, music and snippets. That ‘audience of one’ I always write for is sometimes a blogger, sometimes a coach, maybe a wordlover, a homemaker, a mum or a menopausal maven – each reader is like a reflection from a crystal spinning gently in the light; when I’m being myself and writing from a place of clarity, my writing connects all the various parts of me to anyone meant to hear what I’m inspired to pass on.

      My style’s not popular online – it’s too lyrical, too longwinded. That’s why I’m a rubbish blogger – always have been! No niche, no desire to write punchy pieces with lists that cry out to be shared, no determination to seed myself all over the internet to build a readership, and none of the technical wizzardry required to maintain an up to date blog, far less impress! I plan to keep on spring cleaning and doing technical updates and refresher courses while I figure out what to do with the blog, and when I manage that, I’m looking forward to another stroll around, visiting old friends’ blogs again and seeing where my curiosity takes me. Health and family first, though. Always. For the moment, I’m happy to be online(ish) again. 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

  2. So timely! Thank you. Just love your imagery, and have to admit that I feel so at home on your “home made clunky site”. The pace of change in our world, especially re technology makes my head spin, and I long for experiences that generate a feeling of sameness, predictability thus comfort and connection.

    Danielle is someone I haven’t encountered before. Just reading her short Download ” Leaving the Church of Self-Improvement for the Temple of Me” struck an immediate chord. This is just SO much in line with where I want to develop a coaching niche. Since I have been learning to coach [and you know how long that’s been!] It has been a daily struggle to define WHO I want to coach, and HOW I want to help these people. Authenticity, and empowerment have been powerful words for me, but so hackneyed. I’m busting to load Danielle’s’ writings on my Kindle and see where this leads.

    Janice, I just love your style of blogging. It reaches into my heart, and makes me feel, and experience who you are, thus who I am. It’s powerful and honest, and I look forward to more.

    1. Thank you! I love these comments boxes – always have done. I’m lucky; I’ve never had quantity when it comes to comments, but I’ve always been blessed with visits from good people. When the blog first started, there were whole dialogues here between commenters who chatted merrily without me, and lovely long comments that were post-worthy in their own right.

      I have got plans to tweak my blog – some more colour, new fonts, maybe even a different theme, one that’s responsive so that it works with phones and tablets, but it’ll still feel the same. It’s my wee online home so it’ll end up reflecting who I am in some way or another. That’s the beauty of a customisable blog. You can tinker and tweak, decorate, clean and clearout like you would with a room, but the foundations, shape and footprint of the space stay the same – unless you do the equivalent of building an extension or an attic conversion!! That won’t be happening any time soon as I’m still trying to dredge tech basics out my hibernation-addled memory.

      I mention this because if you resonate here, there’s a good chance that you don’t need to figure out your coaching niche; you hit the nail on the head when you linked authenticity and empowerment. I think reading Danielle’s books will be so much fun for you that you’ll ATTRACT the clients who are drawn to you! Gentle coaches are always magnetic because not everyone can deal with the energy field that edgy coaches generate.

      I’ve also had a peek at your website and notice you don’t have a blog. Maybe your web guy could add a WordPress one, if you fancied, and I think you might have a lot of fun, a space to feel empowered, to explore your authenticity and to flow and evolve, showing potential clients how you weave your reading and coaching into your days and thoughts.

      Glad the post was timely. That encourages me.

  3. Oh, this is one. I came back and I see familiar faces, especially Hilary.

    I understood exactly what you were saying about blogging. I believe it’s to get caught up in it and, truth be told, the expectations, but I think people do accept times when you have to step away. We all do have these times in our lives and some don’t come back, but if it calls to you again…you will be welcomed back…you already are, as you can see:~)

    You left me with a question I will be pondering for awhile. It’s not a quick response question, at least not for me. However, that said, the first thoughts that came to mind are “fulfilled” and “open.” I’m not sure yet what “open” means, but I will explore it.

    BTW your replies are also wonderful!!! They’re like a conversation with you:~)
    Sara recently posted…A Mature WomanMy Profile

    1. Thank you! I feel the same. I really do mean it when I say I feel blessed with the commenters I get here. I always wanted the blog to feel like a wee café with music on in the background, art on the walls, folks’ photos being passed around the tables with me pottering behind the bar and bringing drinks and snacks for the regulars, sitting down and having what we Scots call “a wee blether” or just smiling at those who prefer to sit happily alone having a quiet read and a break.

      You’ve got two very powerful core desired feelings to hone in on there, to winnow and work with. Imagine doing all you can to feel open and fulfilled in your relationships, your work, your art, your health, your spirituality! What would that be like!? Let me know if anything else comes up for you.

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