As I mentioned in my previous post, my core desired feelings (CDFs) were coming into focus for me just as some major shifts were happening in my life. I had started realizing how often fear was making my decisions for me. In my work life, in my relationships, and particularly in my health. I was seeing the wear and tear that managing my diabetes from a place of fear– of death, of dismemberment, of taking up too much space and asking for too much– was hurting me. How much stress and anxiety I was living in without even noticing it. How much my thoughts had grown to revolve around food– where I could get it, how I would make my best choices, how those choices would affect me today and in 10 years. And at the same time, as I was strangling myself with fear, I was seeing a decrease in my health. I was exhausted. I couldn’t remember the last time I slept through the night. And my blood sugar levels were rising, despite the changes I’d been making.
As my anxiety deepened, I decided to take the plunge. Direct action. Radical responsibility. Claiming sovereignty. I allowed space for my core desired feelings to dictate my healing path, especially when fear and anxiety resurface. I changed my guideposts from “I don’t want to lose my eyesight” to “How do I want to feel?”. And that singular question led me to pursuing my own health and wellness from a standpoint of greater peace and love.
When I feel a craving for foods that cause my body to scream, I ask myself which of my CDFs am I missing right now? What is my body and soul calling out for? I invite the feeling in (and therefore out!) instead of saturating it with carbs. this simple task can take anywhere for 10 seconds to 30 minutes. Silence, allowance and release.
When I’m deciding what I want to eat, or how I want to move in my day. What would leave me feeling radiant? Full?
And most importantly, I use this as a helpful tool to rebound from system crashes. Because yes, there are still days (plural, and sometimes in a row, often in the company of burgers) where I cannot reach for my tools. I know where I keep them and I know what to do with them, but sometimes it feels as if my arms are just too short to grab them. And so I lean into my desires. And when I’m full again, I reach for my CDFs to guide my recovery. I reach for full, for still, for radiance. And I use them to quiet the voices of failure, fear, apathy.
My CDFs have become my buoys that guide me in my shadow times (I’m a water sign, can you tell?). And through this process I’m growing and learning as opposed to contracting and hiding. It’s a process, and it isn’t always pretty. And often I need extra hugs and sweet words from others.
Through my Desire Map classes, we give some love and care to figuring out how it is that you can best integrate these tools into your life. We’ll have a look at what triggers you and what kind of support you desire. The power of a group of women coming together to speak about desire cannot be overstated. It is pure magic. Through the process and the sisterhood we’re building something beautiful, a container for change. Join me by clicking here.
As a program, the Desire Map asks us to look at all areas of our life: body and wellness, creativity and learning, essence and spirituality, livelihood and lifestyle and relationship and society. But often, we can’t really see how it is that we can use this powerful tool to actually create the change we desire in our own lives.
Today, I want to talk to you about my relationship with my body and wellness. As an individual, I can say that this part of my journey has been very painful for me. As a woman, I can say that I know I do not stand alone in this. Women the world over are journeying with their bodies everyday and there are days that are really really ugly, and days of immense joy.
I know that throughout my life, I’ve related to my body in a detached way. I’ve long felt that my body was my biggest source of betrayal, the part of me that wouldn’t submit, that I couldn’t conquer. The shadow place within me that lead me down paths that veered far away from where I wanted to be, and instead drove me to the darkest places within myself. Fear. Anger. Shame. Guilt. Disgust.
These feelings permeated my body story. They dictated my relationship to my body, to food and to my own wellness. They distracted me from enjoying my life. They limited me, not just physically but mentally and emotionally in my relationship to others, my relationship to myself and my relationship to my higher work. And, after decades, when they were done ripping me apart, they seated themselves in my heart. My body and wellness became the untouchable story. My greatest failure and shame. And I truly believed that the story ended there. I decided that I was no longer going to be at war with my body, and I accepted defeat. I became apathetic. Decades of being overweight, years of exhausting and debilitating digestive issues. The final blow had been delivered in the form of a diabetes diagnosis, the disease that had taken my father.
I was done. I wasn’t surrendering to any higher power. I laid down, I suffocated my emotions in my own stories of victimhood. I packaged up all my guilt and shame about my body and stuffed it into a giant box in a bid to just forget about the whole thing. I took my medications and just went on with my life. I continued down my soul path, doing my own work but ignoring my embodied manifestation on this earth.
But it turns out that my path cannot be followed without addressing my body and wellness. She simply wouldn’t let me go. My stories taunted me daily.
My body screamed at me for attention but all I heard was war songs.
It was shortly after this time that I dove fully into the Desire Map process. And through that process had been forced to take a really hard look at how I was feeling in my body again. At the same time, a new path was making waves in my soul. New layers of understanding my own healing path were opening up before me to witness. And so a new way emerged, a new desire to be with my physical body and to understand her so that we could heal together. The foundation for this new way of being were my core desired feelings (CDFs). For the first time, I started seeing my body as my ally, then as my friend, then as fully me. I stopped hearing her war drums and started feeling into her fears.
The night that my CDFs came to me I was filled with awe. I was overwhelmed by their beauty and resonance. And they still get me… every time. And I’ve used them to steer me down my own path.
I wanted to feel still— like I could stop searching externally. I wanted to feel full— of grace, of peace, of knowing that I was enough. And I wanted to feel radiant— I wanted my body and soul to sing. And concentrating on these feelings led to great shifts. For the first time, I started seeing my body as my ally, then as my friend, then as fully me. I stopped hearing her war drums and heard her cries for the first time. And it has changed me.
Tomorrow I want to share with you all just how I’ve used these three words on my own healing path.
I’m always hosting Desire Map Workshops. Click here to learn more and reserve your spot today.