Get Simple and Then Get Everything You Desire


Last month I dove into Desire Mapping and today I’m ready to share it with you. Sometimes, when something takes over my heart and brain, I like to allow time and space for things to shake out and for the most important stuff to rise to the surface before I give it to you.

Before I tell you about the process and my experience, I want to share the very best part:

Simplicity is at the heart of The Desire Map.

  • When you decultter and get rid of stuff that doesn’t matter, you can clearly identify what does.
  • Danielle LaPorte, Author of the The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul says, “It’s ok to want what you want.” Something so simple, but so overlooked.
  • There is whole chapter titled, Do Less, Get More. 
  • You’ll get what you want, when you desire it more than anything else. Simple right?

When I stopped wanting what I was supposed to want, and simply recognized that I want what I want, everything changed. What I love most about Danielle LaPorte is that she is all in.

My Desire Map

The 2 images above represent 4 hours of going deep and editing 80+words down to 21 and then to 5 core desired feelings. I own those core desired feelings and will be making decisions based on how I want to feel (what I desire) instead of what I want to accomplish or how I want other people to make me feel.

At first, some of the words that were leading to my core desired feelings were dependent on other people and things. Words like loved, supported, and connected. When I took Danielle’s advice to “be really mindful about using terms for feeling states that come from the outside world, as if Life (or your partner or your job) is going to make you feel that way.” my core desired feelings fully developed.

I love that The Desire Map doesn’t ask us to rely on external events to feel a certain way. With that, we get to choose how we feel and react instead of becoming victims of circumstance. There is no blame in this game.

My core desired feelings:

  • Joy: I am so happy to be right here. I’ve been saying that a lot lately, and I am smiling more.
  • Light: This was my word of 2013 and now it is one of my CDFs (core desired feelings). And I mean light in every way you can imagine.
  • Benevolent: I want to give more of my time and money to those who need it most.
  • Free: Yep, more freedom.
  • Rapturous: I want that feeling of being swept up by falling in love everyday.

What I’m doing in 2014 to feel that way: Eating whole foods. Getting on my yoga mat. Growing my business. Hiking. Helping people simplify their life and work. Making new friends. Giving more of everything away. Date nights and romantic getaways. Listening. Sharing more. Sitting quietly. Laughing really hard. More in person connection. Practicing gratitude. Writing. Encouraging creativity.

What I’m no longer doing: Judging my feelings. I want what I want and even if that changes, that is ok.

Reading The Desire Map shook my soul, lifted me up, and revealed that I wanted so much more than I’ve been willing to ask for. I resonated with so much of this book, but three thoughts stuck with me. I wrote them in my 2014 planner and think of them daily.

  • Be anchored to the desired feeling, and open to the form in which it manifests.
  • You can feel light when someone else is heavy. You can feel confident when things go sideways.
  • If you have to step outside of yourself, away from your values and soul to get your needs met, then you’re not really going to get your needs met.

For the past few years, my guiding principle has been for love and health and that won’t change. I make quick decisions by asking this question, “Will this support love or health?” If the answer is no, my answer is generally no. Now, I’ll be adding my core desired feelings to guide me and perhaps open me up to bigger questions, ideas and answers.

There are so many benefits to figuring out how you want to feel and doing things that support those feelings. Especially this:

When you are connected to your core desired feelings instead of external triggers, you don’t have to prove your worth, prove your love, prove your work, or prove one more thing to one more person.

When you stop proving, you can stop waiting for someone else to tell you that you are good enough. You can stop worrying about what other people think about what you do, what you want and who you are. Now you can really live.

So enough with the resolutions in 2014, how do you want to feel? Remember, it’s ok to want what you want. Jot down a few of your core desired feelings in the comment section below and what you will do in 2014 to feel that way. They might change after you read the book and go through the The Desire Map exercises, or maybe you know exactly how you want to feel right now.



  1. Jori says

    I too am a “mapper” and a long time devotee of Danielle LaPorte–all the way back from her Style Statement days.

    My CDFs are… Engaged, Generous, Light, Generous, Treasured

  2. says

    I’m so glad you wrote about your desire mapping process, Courtney. I have some conflicted feelings about focusing on desire so it’s good to see how it’s helping you. I think life is about more than my personal desires, but maybe that IS one of my personal desires. :) I’m thrilled you found even more clarity and feel empowered to bring even more goodness to yourself and the world.

    • Courtney Carver says

      I totally agree Sandra. Life is about so much more, but these Core Desired Feelings are little gateways to the bigger picture. They bring me closer to what I value/believe/trust.

  3. Elisabeth Olds says

    I’m working through The Desire Map right now and it’s amazing!! I agree that it’s a much broader view of making space and bringing good things into my life. So glad you wrote about your process. It’s really helpful and great to see how you’ve decided to put yours into action.

  4. says

    Thanks for sharing your journey with Desire mapping Courtney. I’m just going through the same process. Seems to me it’s about JOY – and knowing what we most desire leads to us being more of who we are and joy for all. So many delicious words to ponder and feel into. I have some of them – and they are already allowing me to feel more spacious and at peace – which has to be a good thing for me and the world!

  5. Jennifer says

    I’m one who “followed” her last year and bought the book this year. I read a little bit of it every day (after devouring it in one day when it first arrived) to keep me motivated. I love love this book and love love the way she writes. It has totally changed the way I look at myself and my life – for the better.

  6. says

    Courtney – I really resonated with everything you said. When I discovered The Desire Map last month, it totally rocked my world! I’ve been telling EVERYONE about it. My CDF’s are Abundance, Connection, Delight, Ease and Radiance. Some of the things I’m going to be doing: building my life coaching business, daily yoga practice, meet lots of new people, travel back east to visit family, write my gratitudes down every day, take lots of pictures with my iPhone and learn new ways to edit them….
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. says

    Oh my. I bought DM last year but didn’t have the time to give to it. I picked it up again yesterday. This evening I have already planned to work through the first section.

  8. Rose Cole says

    I am going to have to look into this! I have been sort of doing this on my own as a part of my yoga practice but I can see there is potential to delve deeper. I find that expressing gratitude each and every day makes a difference in the way you relate to the world and in turn you have inner peace and serenity. Wow, as you can see it snowballs: Gratitude to peace, peace to serenity!
    As always, Courtney you make my day! As I have mentioned before I am recovering from a stroke and I am literally doing a “make over” of my life and what I want it to be. Your posts have been vital in helping me along the way and I thank you!

  9. says

    Thank you so much Courtney. I have been traveling along this path on my own but am going to look into this.
    I agree with Vicky- one of my CDF’s is already Joy. My good things book at the end of the day brings me joy.

  10. says

    Courtney I just LOVE the CDF of “Light.” Brilliant! I love how that word encompasses so many things. I wish I would have thought of it when compiling my list of CDFs! Two of my CDFs are the same as yours: Joy and Free. Definitely your website supports both those CDFs.

    Thank you for sharing!