Shoes to Shiraz Self Care Series: The Desire Map


Are you a believer in signs? Do you trust that you will be pointed in the right direction?  Can you hear your heart over your brain?

I was tagged on an Instagram post a couple weeks ago by Kim, who thought an upcoming workshop in YXE would be right up my alley.  She invited me along and despite the fact that I had never heard of this series I decided it would be a good experience.  I'm all for following the signs and well, this one was clear omen to pursue.

I jumped on the Desire Map train and let me tell you, I don't plan on getting off anytime soon.  Especially after reading Rachel HOllis' Girl, Wash Your Face (twice) (okay, three times) I feel like I'm finally coming to terms with my inner rockstar.  The Desire Map course, facilitated by Jennifer Sparks was just one more tool that I can add to my kick ass tool bag (that obviously goes with my outfit).

I'll take you through what we did with a little look at what I walked away with.


The Desire Map is essentially a novel way at looking at goal setting by honing in on your emotions and figuring out how you want to feel coming out of things.  To be honest, I didn't really think it would be that impactful, but I was wrong.  The minute I figured out my actual desired feelings, what I really wanted started making sense.

Like most life balance philosophies, the Desire Map is divided into 5 sections livelihood & lifestyle, body & wellness, creativity & learning, relationships & society and essence & spirituality.  We did a series of writing sessions in our workbook going through each element and thinking about them in terms of what we're grateful for that is working and how it's bringing us happiness but also what isn't working and why.  As a group (there were 15ish of us) we'd talk about what we came up with.  Jennifer also shared her own stories and observations to keep the conversation lively.

We then got to the part where we got to sift through the emotions that we wanted to feel in each of those avenues of life.  I adore stream of consciousness writing and we were encouraged to let the words pour out onto the paper.  The language teacher in me was giddy when we were told to use thesauruses and play with the words; letting them steep for awhile.  After going through all the 5 elements we went back and tried to find commonalities or words that resonated more than others. With the goal of coming up with a good 5-10 we were asked to try to them on for size and see how they worked with all the elements.  Could you feel at peace in your livelihood, your spiritually was well as you relationships?  When you found the 3-5 words that were positive, uplifted, expanded and felt like home , then you knew that you had your Core Desired Feelings.  The last step was to figure out how you could actualize those feelings in your day to day.


God it feels good to just sit down, away from responsibility and give yourself permission to dig deep and explore all the feels, plus it was a bonus to have a couple friends there to bounce ideas off of.

When going through the steps of finding gratitude for what was and wasn't working in the 5 elements, I didn't really see anything new pop up.  It was all things that I was comfortable with and very aware of.   The one time I did have an ah-ha moment was when I realized that to me the end product isn't necessarily the be all and end all.  For me, I find the most joy in the process.

Here's a little something you may not know- I hesitate to tell people I'm a blogger, mostly because I'm kinda embarrassed and clearly not proud.  It's also very personal to me so any criticism is like a kick in the shins.  But after having come up with the word: Inspired (which is how I want to feel always), I came across other synonyms like animated and infused.  Those are exactly the ways I feel when I am blogging, painting, taking pictures, writing and creating in general and those moments bring me so much joy.  Sitting here right now, reflecting and recording my thoughts, making it pretty with headers and italics- I am so animated, infused and inspired.  And that's what keeps me creating- be it on this blog or elsewhere.  If anyone reads it or anything comes from this post or that painting- it is all secondary and not my goal.  I realized, through the Desire Map process that I love putting ideas together and making something come to life.  Maybe that's why I like to dabble.

In the end I came out with 10 feelings that I needed:

I narrowed my 5 Core Desired Feelings down to Intimate, Invigorated, Confidence, Inspired and Meaningful.  And let me tell you, the minute I started applying those to my decisions - everything I was doing was exactly what I wanted to do.  It is so easy to say no to things that don't make me feel the way I want to feel.

How about you- what would your words be?

Here are a few ressources if you're interested in pursuing your own Core Desired Feelings:
The Desire Map


  1. That is a project for me, to ponder my words as I hesitate to tell people I am a blogger too but I know it's about them and NOT me because darn it, I am proud and if they think it's silly, it's on them. You look so sweet in that photo, well, you are!!

  2. I also hesitate to tell people that I'm a blogger. #allthejudgement. What a wonderful project. So introspective but fun!

  3. Wow, I don't even know where I would start. But I like coming up with words and if what you are doing doesn't make you feel those words, then don't do it. I like that a lot. I really like the words you picked for yourself. I don't hide that I'm a blogger, but I don't advertise it either....

  4. Now I am curious and need to look into this - I really need to read that dang Rachel Hollis book! I keep hearing about it everywhere!
    Thanks for sharing this!


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