Browsing Tag

happiness project

Blog The Desire Map

Soul Limber

10 July, 2013

Before deciding on my ultimate core desired feelings for The Desire Map*, I worked through Soul Limber, a dedicated section of The Desire Map Workbook focused on warming up, engaging the spirit, and streaming consciousness.

I wrote that I crave love, adventure, challenges, and nature. I want more creative energy, affection, and flowers. I need to give myself more permission to be successful, powerful, assertive, and vulnerable.

The best advice I’ve ever given is that you have one life; make yourself happy.

When in doubt, I light a candle.

Things I know to be true:

  1. Life is short.
  2. There is a lot to be grateful for.
  3. Love, health, friendship are most important.
  4. Tea fixes almost anything.
  5. Nature is amazing.
  6. I am loved.

I associate the color of joy with bright yellow, coral, fuchsia, deep purple, and red. The sounds of joy include a babbling brook, the ocean tide, great live music, giggling, an exclamation! Joy smells like sun and sand and salt and sunscreen, as well as citrus and spice.

Love smells like the mingling of Old Spice and vanilla, also sourdough blueberry pancakes.

Knowing these things about myself makes it easier to relate to life and writing them down has made me more aware of what I should surround myself with. I’m learning to bend things to fit me in the spaces illustrated in The Desire Map: Livelihood & Lifestyle, Body & Wellness, Creativity & Learning, Relationships & Society, and Essence & Spirituality. I’m assessing how I relate to people, what makes me feel accomplished, the clothes that make me feel most comfortable and attractive, the food that fuels me versus the food that weighs me down, what truly brings joy into my life.

What makes you happiest? What does joy look like to you? What does love feel like? What do you know to be true?

*While this is an affiliate link, I truly do believe in this program and what it will do for my life. I am already appreciative of the workbook and how it makes me more aware of what it is I truly want and how I can achieve my true core desired feelings. I hope sincerely that you will join me, not because I will make money from your purchase, but because I would love to have allies, friends, and co-conspirators along this journey. Please do leave a comment and let me know if you decide to do this program so we can work through it together.

Blog The Desire Map The Happiness Project

The Desire Map

3 July, 2013

I recently started upon a new journey briefly mentioned in my post on themes for 2013 (Gratitude, Beauty, and Health) called The Desire Map (affiliate link)*. The program, authored by the luminous Danielle LaPorte, is all about how we want to feel in life. Much like setting up themes for myself each year instead of writing out a list of aspirations, The Desire Map encourages people to map out their core desired feelings instead of concrete goals. By doing this, the program helps people to access a more holistic life plan, both inclusive and flexible, as opposed to a traditional rigid and limiting set of goals.

Danielle focuses on five areas of life: Livelihood and Lifestyle, Body and Wellness, Creativity and Learning, Relationships and Society, and Essence and Spirituality. Each of these five areas deserves concentration and affection. By mapping out desired feelings in each area, people are able to make clear what it is they really want to get out of an experience – the feeling that comes during and after that event: pride, relaxation, comfort, physical well-being, spiritual connectedness, the list goes on.

The purpose of the program is, in Danielle’s words, to guide you in using your preferred feelings as a guidance system for making choices, and for being more present and alive, to help you use your desired feelings as a way to access comfort and clarity during painful times, to show you how to use your desired feelings as creative fuel to make great things happen in your life that will radiate out into the world, to help you accentuate the positive aspects of your life, while still honouring, and not invalidating, the negative parts that you want to change. All of these things sound like wonderful ways to get in touch with myself and where I truly want to be in life. So, I am working with The Desire Map in conjunction with my themes for this year.

I am in the process of crystallizing my vision for my core desired feelings. I am making my way through the workbook and finding a way from gratitude through desire to action.

Join me in the journey by following along here, or do it for yourself with The Desire Map* program (includes book, workbook, audio books, email inspiration, audio contemplations and motivations, worksheets, a web app, how-to videos, and 4 music playlists, as well as access to The Desire Map Facebook Group).

*While this is an affiliate link, I truly do believe in this program and what it will do for my life. I am already appreciative of the workbook and how it makes me more aware of what it is I truly want and how I can achieve my true core desired feelings. I hope sincerely that you will join me, not because I will make money from your purchase, but because I would love to have allies, friends, and co-conspirators along this journey. Please do leave a comment and let me know if you decide to do this program so we can work through it together.


Blog The Happiness Project

2013: Gratitude, Beauty, and Health

28 June, 2013

In the past couple of years, I’ve chosen just three words to focus on for twelve months. Last year, my words were Create, Celebrate, Simplify. Though I didn’t follow through with all of the goals I set out for myself, I was relatively happy with how they manifested for me. I got back into writing and wrote more than ever before during NaNoWriMo. I celebrated with friends, I celebrated myself, I even got to travel to Indonesia to celebrate my brother’s wedding to a wonderful Indonesian girl. And I simplified to such a degree that I find myself wanting more, for I have bare walls at home begging for some art.

For 2013, my three words are: Gratitude, Beauty, and Health. Here I have outlined them with words and photos, including ideas on how to better bring these wonderful things into my life and how to move forward with goals that will keep ensure they stay a part of my life.

[I realize that I’m a bit late to the party in posting this, but I’ve literally been working on this all year. (I started the first draft of this post on January 4.) I actually think taking my time and posting about this later in the year has helped to crystallize my vision for what I want and constantly updating this draft has kept me focused on these three words.]


prayer offering in Bali

  • Goal word: GRATITUDE
  • Path 1 to the goal: Keep up my lists of Love A La Carte (gratitude, wonder, and general awesomeness).
  • Path 2 to the goal: Live in the moment and be thankful for what I have.
  • Path 3 to the goal: Give some of the gratitude away. Instead of random acts of kindness, perform targeted acts of kindness, sharing with friends and family.
  • Path 4 to the goal: Complete Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map.
  • Distractions: Getting stuck in a rut. Getting overwhelmed or stressed.
  • Steps to the path: Keep a cup of “great times” moments listed on colorful Post-It Notes, eat seasonal food, update to Happier as often as possible, and take more photographs to document awesome things.
  • The finish line: Making 2013 my most grateful, happiest year yet. Feeling a sense of accomplishment. Radiating gratitude and kindness.
  • What’s next: Inspiring others to radiate gratitude and kindness.



  • Goal word: BEAUTY
  • Path 1 to the goal: Spend less money and more time appreciating the beauty that surrounds me. Find the beauty in the mundane.
  • Path 2 to the goal: Write about beauty in the world and appreciate the beauty in myself.
  • Path 3 to the goal: Take more photographs of the beautiful details in life.
  • Distractions: Distractions. Being busy. Lack of awareness.
  • Steps to the path: Update my iPhone (camera) to a better one and/or carry my digital camera more often. Make my own beauty products. Organize and weed out beauty products I already own. Stop feeling guilty about making myself look good (STYLE).
  • The finish line: Experimenting with multiple design and style aesthetics.
  • What’s next: Finding a design and style aesthetic that pleases me.


blueberries and blackberries

  • Goal word: HEALTH
  • Path 1 to the goal: Getting new glasses. (check)
  • Path 2 to the goal: Finishing dental work. (check)
  • Path 3 to the goal: Going gluten/wheat-free. (So, okay, I tried this and it didn’t really work out for me. It was too hard not to eat wheat and too expensive to keep up with. But, I tried something new. So, at least there’s that.)
  • Path 4 to the goal: Finish one full year on Weight Watchers.
  • Path 5 to the goal: Keep current with all doctors’ appointments throughout the year.
  • Path 6 to the goal: Start running.
  • Distractions: Time restraints, convenience, expense.
  • Steps to the path: Track the food that I’m eating, experiment with wheat-free cooking and baking, make and keep doctors’ appointments.
  • The finish line: Making 2013 my healthiest year yet. Losing weight. Feeling more full of energy.
  • What’s next: Don’t stop. Run a 5k. Run 3-4 times a week consistently. Add yoga.

*All images mine.

Blog Love a la Carte

Spring Fever

17 May, 2013


Love A La Carte features all the little things that make my life just a little more delicious.

Lipstick stains on coffee cups. Gossip. Having really smart friends. Practicing gratitude. Wine tastings at Light of My Lantern Speakeasy, where I can get a good flush in the safety of great company. Lindt’s A Touch of Sea Salt dark chocolate bar. Getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine to plant green, growing things. Twitter DMs. Writing dates. Cherry blossoms. 3 Paths Toward a More Creative Life. Live music (in particular: Great Big Sea’s XX Anniversary Tour). sweetgreen’s spicy broccoli (delicious!). Principal fires security guards and hires art teachers – and transforms elementary school. Practicing not-so-random acts of kindness. John Cleese’s advice on making your life more creative (from 1991 – and it still holds up)! Discussions with friends that range from writing to reading to history to politics to philosophy to relationships and beyond. Finding a state of flow. Finally getting my tattoo finished. Reading this post on how to Be Open to Inspiration: concentrate on what’s right in front of you – and if you don’t like what’s in front of you, change it. Lifestyle, style, fashion, and design blogs. The beautiful and educational History of Typography (video). Burt’s Bees Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream. This exercise in creativity from Nicole’s Classes. Finally finishing a DIY project I started a while ago. Seeing some of my favorite flowers in bloom on the way to work. Being Totally Honest. Beautiful green leaves on trees, providing dapples of shade throughout the city.

This quote: “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ―Brené Brown

Blog Love a la Carte

Friday, I’m in Love

22 March, 2013


 Love A La Carte features all the little things that make my life just a little more delicious.

The LIzzie Bennet Diaries (a modern take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice told through video blogs on YouTube) ♥  This song, which features samples from both Billie Jean AND Under Pressure. Go listen. NOW. ♥ Daria. ♥ Dove’s new Photoshop action: promoting self-esteem everywhere. ♥ Parents doing amazing things for their kids: Parents and Transgendered 6 Year-Old Battle Her Colorado Elementary School and Awesome Dad Hacks Video Game For Daughter So Pauline Saves Mario! ♥ Some advice on how to combat creative blocks.♥ My Mad Fat Diary, the (6 episode) story of Rae, a music-obsessed 16-year-old in the 1990s who deals with eating disorders and mental illness, as well as everything else that goes on in the life of a teenager. (It’s beautifully done. I can’t say enough good things about it.) ♥ The iced hazelnut latte from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. ♥ A mini-vacation to Arizona for the wedding of one of my oldest friends. ♥ Squeezing in a visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens while in Phoenix. ♥ Spending time with my mum and dad. ♥ Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti, the sequel to Brownies and Broomsticks, by Bailey Cates. ♥

This quote: “You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts. — You have to pay your electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.” -Cheryl Strayed

Blog The Happiness Project

Absorbing Positivity, Deflecting Negativity

17 January, 2013

One of the hardest and most valuable lessons I have learned in my life is how to absorb positivity and deflect negativity. Before putting positive energy out into the world, it’s important to create it for yourself. In this short, but sweet “Ask Amy”, Amy Poehler explains how to get a start on pumping up positive energy in our lives, accepting compliments, and leaving negative energy behind. Take it from this genius comedy star and implement it into everyday life:

Thank you [.]