Last October, I was *this* close to closing up shop. Not because my business wasn't generating income, but because I was so freaking miserable.

I longed to be a writer again. My business felt heavy. My schedule was bogged down working with clients, and being a strong empath, it was draining my energy. I hadn't worked on my music or my books or done anything fun in … well, I couldn't remember the last time.

My soul felt like it was wilting.

On new year's eve, I bought a copy of Danielle LaPorte's new book, The Desire Map, as well as some fun planning tools, including Susannah Conway's Unraveling the Year.

In Danielle's book, I learned about the concept of Core Desired Feelings … it's a simple idea: that what we really desire isn't a new partner or more money or a new job, but the feeling we think those will bring us.

She calls this your Core Desired Feelings.

While most Americans were watching football, I spent new year's day letting go of 2013 and setting my sights on 2014. And I realized as I said things like, "I want to do more writing," that what I really wanted wasn't the writing necessarily, it was the feeling I had during a certain period of my life, and during that time, I was a full-time writer.

Describing this feeling is SO hard. I still do not have a name for it. It's a feeling inside that I'm fully ME … that I'm totally free, that I'm fully expressing, that I'm having fun, that I'm aligned with my higher self and my soul, that I am self-actualized and divinely connected. It's the absence of anything not me, any resistance or conformity within myself. See how I said it is hard to describe?

I also had a friend last year where I constantly felt like I was shrinking inside whenever we spent time together. It was a new friend, but someone that I spent a lot of time with. But the person resisted who I was, and he was constantly trying to squelch me, both in terms of being myself, and in expressing myself. I definitely did not want THAT feeling in my new year. In order for him to feel complete, he needed me to be someone else. And the opposite of that … yeah, that was that feeling I described above; the one that is so hard to describe.

The thing is, it's not really that important that I have a word to describe the feeling, although that helps. It definitely might help you understand it. But it's really only important that I identify it and that I know what it feels like.

So, as I sat in my bedroom doing my "new year" work, I identified the other Core Desired Feelings that I wanted my year to revolve around. Things like: free, funny, peace. I called the feeling I couldn't really name "be me."

Yippee, I thought! I'm going to make new choices to allow myself to feel this way.

Of course, then reality set in. That would mean changing business models. leaving the 1:1 client model for … what? How would I replace that income? What would that look like?

And that would mean leaving a friendship that in many ways enriches my life, and hurting another person. Feeling loss and grief and going through the turmoil of letting go.

Ten months in, though, I've made the choices, and navigated through it, and I can say that I'm positively shocked at how different my life is from one year ago. My energy is freed up, and I have given myself permission to self-express, because I'm not battling anymore with someone to get to be myself.

I'm not shrinking inside, I'm expanding. I let go of my old business model, that was draining me and squelching my creativity, and have not only replaced that income, but increased my income by 50 percent.

Other years, I tried in vain to make similar leaps in my life, and to make the choices that were needed to cause a leap like this. But before, what I wasn't "getting" was that it wasn't a situation or circumstance or person I was after, it was a certain feeling. That is why The Desire Map is so powerful … yet so simple.

You identify the feeling you want, and all of your choices become so simple: does this draw me toward my Core Desired Feeling, or away from it?

Danielle LaPorte is now licensing her Desire Map work, so others can go out and hold workshops and be the catalyst for change like I've experienced.

Is one of your Core Desired Feelings that feeling of satisfaction that you've impacted others' lives in a positive way? If so, you might want to consider exploring how you can bring this amazingly simple, powerful work into the world by obtaining a license here (I will be, too). You'll be taken to a page where you can sign up to receive more info:

(I am a proud referral partner of Danielle LaPorte's work. If you have any questions about it, leave a comment below or message me, and I will find out the answers for you.)

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