The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte – My review [Jan 2013]

The Desire Map…

Core desired feelings…

Where to start?


the desire map


This post is one I have been wanting to write for a month or so now. But I keep putting it off ~ because I am not quite sure how to put all the thoughts in my head to words…

But here goes… I will try my best!


The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte called to me as soon as I heard about it… Living each and every day based off how I desire to feel – yeah baby – bring it on!!  Really, who wouldn’t want that?


The Desire Map - a journey


But the whole idea was a little scary.
I don’t know what I want.
How I want to feel.


My days are busy and full of so much ‘doing’, that the ‘being’ takes back seat. Even the time to sit and work out how I want to ‘be’ seemed impossible to find. I have work to do. A child to care for. A house to clean. Clients to please and bills to pay.

There is no time! Argh ~ time, time time! All we ever seem to want is more time!

That, and revealing my true feelings is not something I am always comfortable doing. I often struggle with writing and although I have plenty of pretty journals laying around the house, I prefer my thoughts in my head, rather than immortalised on paper.  The idea of answering questions and writing the answers down ~ makes me shudder. [side note] you know in magazines where they have those questionnaires ~ answer A if you feel this way, or B or C ~ then you find out the results at the end. I skip ahead to the end and decide which I want to be: A B or C. I hate answering the questions… Yes, I am a little crazy!

I was scared, but I brought The Desire Map package and was committed to following through. I read the book on my iPad (I couldn’t wait for the hard copy to arrive), and I listened to the audio copy while I was working on my computer editing photos.  The audio copy ~ oh so blissful! I am a little behind the times and have never actually listened to an audio book before.  It was fan-freaking-tastic! Danielle’s voice and style of reading is divine… The first time I listened intently and soaked in as much of her words as I possibly could. I have listened about 5 more times since then, just as background while I am working.  Every now and then something will alert me and I will listen to a particular passage ~ just the exact right sentence heard at the exact right time…

So I lit candles and I diffused my fave blend of doTERRA essential oils and read and I listened and the time came for the workbook.  Eeek ~ the questions and the requisite answers! Part of the process and simply must be done! Surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Some questions in the beginning I skipped ~ I simply didn’t know how to answer them. But as the workbook went on, my excitement grew.  This was it, I was doing it, I was writing answers on paper!! At the end I was actually going to have a list of my core desired feelings!!!


little girls with great big dreams, hearts


i crave…. sugar, good health, more time, less stress, to be an amazing mum, lots of cuddles and time with Liana…

other than time or money, what i want more of is… long and meaningful conversations, ‘i feel great’ days, routine…

i need to give myself more permission to be… spontaneous, free, happy, joyful, relaxed…

the colour of joy is... red and orange swirled together…

if i whisper the word bliss… i feel stillness…

i feel vulnerable when... i am the center of attention…



in crisis… i take a deep breath and keep going…

when feeling free and strong i tend to… act spontaneously…

if delight were an animal, it would be… a bouncy playful kitten…

i am proud of… my beautiful girl and all that i have achieved…

my most regular waking thought… i want more sleep, but i am so excited to get up and start the day…


Next comes the brainstorming… 5 different areas ~ body and wellness | essence and spirituality | relationships and society | creativity and learning | livelihood and lifestyle


I want to feel…

harmonious, creative, artisitc, blissful, healed, fit, healthy, strong, energetic, comfortable, relaxed, vivacious, grounded, contented, radiant, inspiring, enlightened

Then 5 pages more of scribbled words and definitions and ideas and feelings… Wow ~ did all that come out of my head?


From there I took a few days break and then I came back.

To the words that resonated with me the most. The words that were a consistent pattern through all my pages of notes….


little girls with great big dreams, hearts


I circled and crossed out and highlighted those that called my name as such, and eventually I was left with a list of words. The words that resonated with me the most. The words that were a consistent pattern through all my pages of notes.

The link to one particular word kept coming up…


core desired feeling - harmony


To me harmony looks like… being composed, put together, relaxed… Harmony feels like… being balanced, whole and healed…  Harmony sounds like… being in tune, and beautiful…

Harmony is really about… BALANCE


So often I feel like I am floating, rushing from one task to another without ever finishing anything. I have spoken about this plenty of times ~ I crave stillness and order and somewhat of a schedule. So this is not too much of a surprise to me that my desires lie around this aspect [but so incredibly nice to have a beautiful sounding word to describe how I want to feel].

I feel like, at the point i am at, I want [need] to understand aspects of my health that have alluded me till now. I want [need] to stop being so rushed from place to place and task to task. I want [need] more time to relax and enjoy life.

There is no point in me going to yoga class every day [that would be amazing] if it means I then have to stay up till midnight working just so I can invoice the customer and pay rent this week and then spend my days tired and desperately wanting a nap.  There is no point spending the time to take personal photos if I never set aside the time to download them from the memory card and print them into books.  There is no point buying new craft materials if I never end up using them. Or buying ingredients to make green smoothies, if I never set aside the time to blend them up & they slowly rot in the fridge… Or skipping lunch because I am too busy to stop working and then hitting the brick wall at 3pm just after I have desperately reached for sugar laced treats to fuel my energy levels…


TO BE HARMONIOUS ~ I want to be and to feel balanced, whole, fit, healthy and in tune. To have balance and harmony around all aspects of my interests, hobbies and creative outlets as well as the day to day stuff that is necessary to keep a roof over our heads and food on the dinner table. To have my version of the perfect [but adaptable] balance between all the important parts of my life.

More note taking and brainstorming and I came up with a list… 4 little branches off my harmony tree that would all work together to help me lead back there…


My core desired feelings…


The Desire Map - core desired feelings


Slightly longer and in context…

For all aspects of my life to be harmonious in the way I want them to be, I need:

  • to be grounded and contented
  • to feel blissful at every opportunity
  • to be vivacious and to ooze radiance
  • to feel relaxed


In a little more detail…

GROUNDED | CONTENTED ~ I want to schedule time to allow for creativity and hobbies. To practice gratitude.  To be settled into a routine that brings pleasure and allows time for all that I yearn to do. To accept that fact that wishing for more time [or the ability to function on 3 hours sleep a night] will never help me.

BLISSFUL ~ I want to be delighted by each and every new day and all the experiences it brings. To be settled and accepting that what will be will be [no over-analyzing].  To give myself opportunity [and permission] to indulge in my interests. To experience magic. To let loose all old conceptions about food and health.

VIVACIOUS | RADIANT ~ I want to be healthy and feeling energised. I need to let everything be fun [even housework] and filled with intense joy and happiness. To be happy, joyous and delighted with every interaction I have. To share my true feelings and show my happiness. To present myself in an energetic and lively way. To be surrounded by fun and happy things.

RELAXED ~ To be relieved of tension and anxiety. To have no expectations. To live in the moment. To be settled and accepting that what-will-be-will-be.  Not over analyzing. To not feel stressed or lazy when I am taking time for myself. To let loose old conceptions about food.


Pretty awesome right?? Now to put it all into action… [will be back to you as soon as I work out a plan!]


Get The Desire Map!

Check out Danielle LaPorte’s website here
For the Aussies who want a hardcopy – buy The Desire Map here [from Book Depository]

Follow Little girls with great big dreams- Renee Bell on facebook here

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  • Treacy MizeJanuary 23, 2013 - 3:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing your process. What is neat about posts like this, as you journey out to be your whole self, and let the world watch you, you unknowingly give others permission to do the same. It’s this grand ripple effect.

    Your writing style is lovely. I feel like I’ve sat down and had coffee with you and I left the post wanting part 2 immediately. I hear so much hope in your post. It really is such an inspiring piece.

    I related to so many of the same things you shared. I loved your answers to your prompts. It instantly made me think of what my own might be. Thanks again…so profound.ReplyCancel

  • SusanJanuary 23, 2013 - 4:00 pm

    Lovely post and just the inspiration I need to write about my own process with the Desire Map because like you I have had it rumbling around my head since December!ReplyCancel

  • DavinaJanuary 23, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    Beautiful, Renee! I love that you’ve put into real life, the world what you want to feel, who you are, and what bliss looks like for you. What an incredible journey. I know it takes courage to share something like this. You are a strong and brave and amazing woman. Keep moving forward…
    I’m looking forward to part 2. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • ValerieJanuary 23, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful. And real. <3ReplyCancel

  • Danielle LaPorteJanuary 23, 2013 - 4:43 pm

    so honest and beautiful.
    thank you.

  • Vanessa AndersonJanuary 24, 2013 - 4:51 pm

    I agree. Awesome post. So true and raw and honest, yet beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Bex @ Vegan SparklesJanuary 24, 2013 - 4:52 pm

    Hi Renee!
    I’m in you IIN class and just wanted to say what a GORGEOUS blog! I look forward to following along. 🙂 xxReplyCancel

  • Kristin Hoddenbach BrownJanuary 24, 2013 - 4:52 pm

    Oooh I love this post so much!

    And I TOTALLY relate to you in wanting very very similar things for myself. I love the word harmony–it seems to combine so many wonderful things. I might steal it for my own life. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sara ArrigoniJanuary 26, 2013 - 3:59 pm

    I am looking forward to following more of your process.
    I too can completely relate to the “lots of pretty journals around” but not actually wanting to “commit myself” to writing anything down.
    I haven’t followed the Desire Map much, but it sounds like a wonderful process is opening up for you, and I want to find out more!ReplyCancel

  • Megan KingJanuary 29, 2013 - 4:51 pm

    I want all that too! Do you think by writing it down like this and clarifying what you want will actually make it happen?ReplyCancel

  • Laura CottrilJanuary 30, 2013 - 4:50 pm

    Good work Renee Bell, going through all the steps and distilling to your core desired feelings!ReplyCancel

  • Valerie Rapp FullerJanuary 31, 2013 - 8:16 pm

    I love that you are sharing this with us! It’s interesting to see the process for DM, but it’s also fascinating to see how you’ve narrowed down your wants and needs. I can’t wait to read more and to see how you apply the worksheets for your monthly and weekly goals/maps.

    I think a lot of people are feeling the same way…so kudos to you for being honest with yourself and taking action to make it happen for you! xoxoxReplyCancel

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    […] diary. (see below for my desk diary) You can read more about my Desire Map experience last year here, and stay tuned for more updates to this!  Note, although the shipping is costly and it will take […]ReplyCancel

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