We’re wired for connection, communion, togetherness.
And if there’s one thing the world needs more of, it’s people gathering together with the singular focus of supporting each other to feel the way they want to feel.
If you feel inspired to be the hub of a group like this, I present to you:
This detailed book club guide is full of ideas on how to create your group (with copy+paste email invitations), tips on structuring your group time and content plans to stir up rich, rewarding conversations.
You don’t need to have hosted a book club before. You don’t need a massive group of people in order for it to be worthwhile. It could be just you and your best friend, or you and your partner or you and the entire neighborhood.
Sound the call and gather together for your desires.
Dig into the Desire Mapping Groups book club guide HERE.
To fulfilled wishes,
Listen to the Rdio version.
1. A Thousand Beautiful Things, Annie Lennox
2. Ramble On, Led Zeppelin
3. Landslide, Antony
4. Song of Good Hope, Glen Hansard
5. Mystery Angel, Xavier Rudd
6. I’m Coming Out, Diana Ross (Integer Bootleg)
7. Price Tag, Jessie J
8. Fire of Freedom, Matisyahu
9. Tightrope, Walk The Moon
Licorice tea, crows on my skylight, heart widened with what I know to be true. And on the speakers:
Track 1: A Thousand Beautiful Things, Annie Lennox
Where were we before this Spring? Ah yes, December 2013. We launched The Desire Map, like we launch things: At light speed, with clearly broadcasted promise, and good font treatments. We pulled off what should have been a year-long project in about four months. No regrets, all love, but after that, the whole team needed deep rest. That turned into a 3-month downshift for me. Spring is my comeback party.
Track 2: Ramble On, Led Zeppelin
“Let’s just be still and watch where this wants to go,” I said to my team. I think of every book/offering as its own being, and I expect that it will show me what it wants. So we backed off of hustling it and just listened. And we heard things like: “This is such a relief.” And words like, “heart, soul, more, open, doing it.” Relief indeed.
Zen saying: Now that the barn is burnt down, I can see the moon. Mmmhmmm…
Track 3: Landslide, Antony
I don’t think it’s a cosmic rule that success coincides with challenge, “best of times and worst of times,” ‘n all that. But there I was … in NYC, chain-smoking Marlboros, grieving a concluded marriage, being held together by fiercely wise friends, following my longing through the destruction. While …
… my business, our business — this career happens because of a “we” — went from lovely to something closer to incredible. I did gigs in 8 cities in about 11 weeks, in between packing boxes. So there I was, crying in hotel rooms, and laughing those Life-is-fucking-amazing-no-matter-what laughs with soul sisters, and then, pinning up my hair and giving it my all on stage, to ovations.
And then I looked at the business numbers and it became clear that we were on track to our best year ever. And I realized that I was finally in a place where my career was carrying me. And it felt … natural, finally, to allow my life to carry me. (Much more to come on that phenomenon. I thought I knew what Grace was, but loves, let me tell you, I have a whole new perspective on what faith means now.)
Track 4: Song of Good Hope, Glen Hansard
Track 5: Mystery Angel, Xavier Rudd
Which brings us to this most glorious Spring.
Something else incredible happened during my fiery winter … I had a few new ideas in airport terminals and prayer. Phat phantasmigorical ideas. It felt a bit unjust to be given phat phantasmigorical ideas when my hands were full — I couldn’t act on them, and I’m rather accustomed to idea-decision-LAUNCH. But when I was peeling back my own layers, I stumbled on some seeds that have been waiting a long time for the right conditions to bloom.
(Anyone in the midst of big change, take note: If you excavate one area of your life, you’re going to find diamonds and stones everywhere else. It’s stunning.)
The Desire Map is going to fan out into a gorgeous collection later this year. Books, booklets, journals, day planner system, multimedia usefulness, full range of affordability and depth. It’s coming and it’s built to last a lifetime. Desire. More.
And we’re launching a magazine. A MAGAZINE! I love magazines. Print AND digital. Part lifestyle, part … journal. We’re bursting with pantones, paper samples, and profound headlines. Dreamy sigh.
Track 6: I’m Coming Out: Diana Ross (Integer Bootleg)
Track 7: Price Tag, Jessie J
One of my favourite terms in English literature is “pathetic fallacy”, when the mood of a story is reflected by the weather in the story. “It was a dark and stormy night…” My personal pathetic fallacy is bright pink, sheer yellow and black rich soil-like — for I have never felt so in sync with the crackling, certain joy of Spring.
Track 8: Fire of Freedom, Matisyahu
Track 9: Tightrope, Walk The Moon
May the Song of Good Hope* walk with you through everything.
Going with the flow isn’t about being passive or lazy. It’s not about just letting things happen “to you”. It’s not aimless wandering. It’s a co-creative act.
“The flow” is the ocean of cosmic intelligence. It’s the substance that carries the whole shebang. The flow is life energy itself.
Going with the flow is responding to cues from the universe. When you go with the flow, you’re surfing Life force. It’s about wakeful trust and total collaboration with what’s showing up for you.
When a woman tangoes, every inch of her body is flowing into the man’s lead. She’s not complying, she’s responding. Hockey great, Wayne Gretsky said he, “Just skated to where the puck was.” Flow was his strategy.
So you can set down the zealous goal-chasing. You can burn your detailed five year plan. And you can certainly worry less about the right move/wrong move. You’re not nuts, or submissive or lazy if you, like, go free form.
You’re a Flow Artist. Or a Ninja of Flow — take your pick. With keen senses, skilled daring, and the heart of a warrior. You’re daring to catch a wave of truth, again, and again, and again. Go with it.
The guilty feeling associated with desire, with going after what you want, with transforming….
You know that feeling? It’s like tar on your mojo.
Maybe you were raised in an environment where desire was considered a negative thing. Or your social circle constantly reinforces the message that you shouldn’t dare to bust out. And maybe you frequently feel guilty for wanting what you want — and you know that it’s causing blocks in your life.
So how to vanquish the guilt? How to avoid guilt altogether so you can go get what you want?
You can’t. You don’t. Guilt is part of the deal.
You will experience guilt as you craft the life of your dreams. It’s part of your conscience, it’s the tension in “creative tension.”
You leave the person who gave you your first big break because it’s time to grow. You leave your kid with a babysitter so you can have time to write. You leave behind your mother’s idea of success.
You push off perceived limitations. You go for more. You fly higher than they did. You get further than you planned for. You use brighter colours. You let someone down so you can lift up your life purpose.
The guilt of following your heart is a weight you can bear if your dream is strong enough. It’s the price of admission to fulfillment.
You’re going to feel guilty. Breathe. Keep going.
… something that wasn’t too terrifying or disabling.
Just enough death to get me to the Tunnel of Light.
And I’d come back with information for humankind.
Or a supernatural talent.
like Xray vision or complete faith.
But … no near death experience.
Never been struck by lightning.
No Guru has picked me out of the crowd.
Never heard a Voice.
and I don’t see dead people (except for that one time).
So enlightenment is left to the machinations of my day to day.
Singing kettle, humming boy, hummingbird feeder.
Hungry belly, hungry heart, hungry guy on the corner of 1st & Commercial.
Rice with friends, love notes in earnest, rapture at the market.
Veins in my heart, tunnels of choices,
each leading to the Light
Bonus for Vancouver event revealed! Come to town and leave with strategies, ideas, and how-to’s that work.
Smart marketing. Big bucks and social impact. Raising capital and raising consciousness. Building a team, a digital empire, a product line. Wheeling the deal. Doing the right thing…. (more…)
There’s a difference between the definition of happiness and the definition of joy. It’s valuable to be aware of this because when things get tough, logic might want you to default to despair, or utter sadness or worse, you might think you have to choose between hardship and joy, or support and separation, or light and dark.
Consciousness is not an either/or equation. It’s about bothness. The capacity to expand into bothness — the awareness of your joy in all circumstances — is so much of what it means to evolve.
“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, wracked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
- Agatha Christie
Happiness is always passing through. It can claim your full attention for the ten seconds it takes to swallow a sip of incredible coffee. Or it can stream through your being for weeks on end. But happiness can’t hold the same space as sadness, or anger, or the range of so-called “negative” emotions for very long. This is why it’s transitory.
Joy is the fibre of your Soul. It’s the stuff of your essence. And since you, your Soul, can never be annihilated (yes, that would make you eternal and omnipresent), your access to joy never vanishes. Because joy is so foundational to your true being, every other state or emotion can rest on top of joy, it can accommodate everything.
This means that it’s possible to grieve with your whole heart, and still sense your joy. You can feel rage, and be aware of joy waiting patiently for you to return, and take deep comfort in that. You can get fired, dumped, dumped on, and pulled through the eye of a needle, and still feel held by the container of joy — the truth of your existence.
When you arrive at this awareness (you’ll likely have to go through the ringer to get there), your logical mind is going to be confused.
“I’m going through hell. This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me… so what’s this mighty warmth I feel within? I must be losing it. I must be in denial. I should get back to misery.”
Stay with the misery. Stay with the mighty warmth emanating from within.
“I’m aching over this loss, so can this aching gratitude in my core be real? Am I betraying my memories? Am I denying my pain?”
Not at all. You’re expanding.
When you see joy beside the agony, you have the keen vision of a Soul warrior.
It has never failed that when I have been through the most heart-breaking passages of my life — betrayal, financial hardship, divorce, dreams dashed — the pain brought me to the floor of my being, and what was there to be found?:
The simple joy of being alive. So cosmically basic it’s mind-blowing: the joy to be here, connected, animated, breathing, blessed, resilient, to be broken, to be open, to have what was, what’s left, what’s coming. The joy just to be part of reality.
Happiness. Love it when it comes.
Joy. It’s the love that lasts no matter what.
If you know how you truly want to feel in your life — then you’ve got to hook that awareness up to some action. Like so: What are you going to do this week, today, now, to feel the way you want to feel? Taking responsibility for generating your core desired feelings is one of the most creatively powerful decisions you can make. Try it.
I asked the sincere seekers in The Desire Map Facebook group how they’re matching their souls to their to-do lists. Take notes.
Sometimes, the way to fulfilled desire is a dramatic gesture or a major leap. But mostly, it’s a daily practice of choices for intentional pleasure.
To feel the way I want to feel…
“I’m doing a wardrobe clearout (Sex & the City style – with girlfriends and champagne), getting rid of anything that doesn’t help me feel Radiant & Joyful (eg. worn-out, ill-fitting and/or belonging in my former corporate life).” – Belinda
“I made a beautiful meal for my sister this morning: Connection. I’m wearing my favorite scarf: Radiant.” – Stacey
“I’m organizing my office: Empowered.” – Jackie
“I’m taking a meditation class: Inspired and seeing family and having friend dates: Joyful.” – Ellie
“I’m starting hip-hop dance classes this week — Badass flowing through my veins.” – Cynthia
“I adopted 3 baby kittens. ALIVE!” – Paula
“I mopped the floor. A clean house makes me feel Abundant.” – Cecilia
“I’m wearing my “party shoes” (4 inch heels) to the office instead of my usual comfy chunky heels and my sparkly sequined sweater: Fierce/Vitality. Emailing a friend who I’ve felt some distance from lately: Genuine.” – Haley
“I’m making art this week. Painting and drawing and creative visual art projects are the closest I’ve come to feeling desire, alive, visceral, palpable.” – Fotini
CLICK HERE to head over to Facebook and chime in with your answer: What are you doing today to feel the way you want to feel?
1. For the love of God, give people decent notice for your requests. May I interview you … next week? Can you write an article … in two weeks? Um, no. Most people have commitments and process times. A month’s notice for a request is civilized.
2. “Did you get my Thank You note?” Don’t ask for thanks for your thanks. It kinda takes the fun out of being thanked.
3. “Did you get my email?”. Chances are extremely high that they got your email. Yes, there are over-zealous spam folders and rare Gmail gremlins. But it’s highly likely that they got your email. Give people at least two weeks to get back to you. Remember the days when you’d write a letter, put a stamp on it and just wait to be pleasantly surprised when someone wrote you back? Try to channel that energy into your online communication.
4. DM’ing on Twitter (Direct Messaging) is not necessarily a means of intimate online communication. (And DM streams are getting blasted by so much spam these days, it’s getting harder for people to sift through the trash.)
5. “LOL” isn’t funny. Never has been.
6. No one really wants to hear you bitch about your head cold or your kids. No one.
7. If you can take an hour to write three paragraphs about a typo that you fond in someon’s post and how it undermines the efficacy of their entire theory, then perhaps you need to find more meaning in your life. Volunteer somewhere.
8. People say all kinds of stuff online that they wouldn’t have the audacity to say face-to-face. They get, as my friend, psychotherapist Terri Cole puts it: “cyber balls.” Uh huh. She goes on to say, “It’s time to look at online interaction as real life, because whether you like it or not, it is.” It’s all energy, it all gets felt. Kindness is classy, and you can disagree without being a nasty douche about it.
9. So about those really long emails to thoroughly introduce yourself… ix-nay on the length-ay. Two short grafs, max, with a link to your site. Consider your first email communication a handshake and invitation, not a long dinner on a first date.
10. Putting someone on your email list without their permission is up there with telemarketing and walking in without knocking — tres tacky.
11. Tweeting or Facebook-posting about something great that someone gave you or did for you, i.e., “I just got the best new car from @jane!” is a lovely act of sharing — do it — but it’s not a sufficient expression of gratitude to the giver. It’s kind of like just spreading a rumor that you’re grateful. Be public and be direct. Thank the person. Immediate email is good. Hand written notes are superior. A phone call is like, stellar-stunning.
Doing shit just to please your parents, Bowie & Beck, potentiality addicts & always wanting more: March roundup
I can’t help you. Not really. No matter how much insight or sweat I give, the effects of my giving are not my call to make. I have nothing to do with someone receiving my love — it’s the choice of the loved.
You + me: Spring and Courage in Washington, DC. I’m keynoting The Chesapeake Bay Organizational Development Network’s Annual Conference this April 26 2013 — and it’s open to the public! This year’s theme: Constructing Organizational Development for the Future: Creating Courageous Practitioners.
11 Flexible Truths on Creating Great Work, as inspired by Bowie & Beck. Command. If you’re in charge, then bloody well be in charge. Give direction. We look to the master. We rise to the call. Sound it.
Vancouver! I’m thrilled to announce a very special event this April 19. FREEDOM TO CREATE: A 1-day tour de force of the practical and philosophical challenges of taking your business to the next level. (And we just announced the pre-event bonuses. Details in the post.)
You will be called on to expand. And this is why we practice. I travelled to Dharamshala, India with six friends to meet with The Dalai Lama. It was cell-altering and heart-expanding.
Always wanting more? The upside of being insatiable. If you’re on your creative edge, you will continuously want more. True desire is full … and insatiable.
Do not do shit just to please your parents. In fact, do not pursue anything in order to please someone else. Ever. The excruciating regret of which I speak is an epidemic, of course. We know this. It’s been happening for all of time, and it probably always will. Pleasing. Others. At the cost of our vitality.
Are you addicted to potential? My Name is Danielle, and I am a recovering potentiality addict.