The Desire Map

How I am Setting Creative Goals & Intentions in 2018

Happy New Year!

And yes, I am re-emerging a bit later than many on social media, etc. But for me going into the New Year in the last few years is no longer a hasty, jump in exercise for me.

Each year, I have delayed my “entrance” to become more grounded, to reflect on lessons learned from the previous year,  clear out the old and open up for the new.  This has involved a lot of self-care, ritual and focus…especially on intentions and goals.

As a creative who is immersed with my own art making ventures and launching a new creative venture, it is important that I take the time to be clear on what I want, what matters and what doesn’t.  I have found in the past when I did not take the time to “feel” my way into the year, the grounding doesn’t happen and I end disappointed and a bit frazzled at the end of the year.  Thus, the slow and steady wins the race process I have adopted during the last three years which has really worked for me.

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Theme for 2018: #VibrateHigher

Early in December, I decided on my theme for 2018.  Many people develop a word for the year or theme to guide them through the year.  I have expanded to a desired overall goal, not necessarily an object or physical achievement, but more spiritually or intuitively based.  I work to align my Core Desired Feelings (see below) to compliment my yearly theme as well.  In 2016, my word was Authentic and theme was #MyAuthenticLife.  In 2017, my word was Courage and the theme was #MyCourageLife.  This year, based on the the teachings of one of my favorite wellness and spiritual leaders, Lalah Delia, I have adopted the theme #VibrateHigher for 2018.

What does this mean for me?  To be able to focus on thinking, feeling, believing, trusting and manifesting the good in all areas of my life.  To attract those things to my existence that is aligned with where I am going, to focus on creating that kind of aura for myself.  It is a reminder to ask myself when things look side ways, how am I showing up here?  I am reflecting the kind of vibration that is attracting or reflecting this experience (positive or negative)?  Am I mindful in my communication with others and myself?  Is my art coming from a geniune place that inspires, lifts or reflects positively my true essence?

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Desire Mapping

One of the methods I have been working with is Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Mapping process, which helps identify the “feelings” you want to experience with all aspect of your life, rather than tangible, concrete resolutions or goals for any given year.  As a creative individual, this process appeals to me because it allows me to look at major goals and opportunities based more on energy/vibes than a check mark for my resume.  The Desire Mapping process focuses on what Danielle calls “Core Desired Feelings” or CDFs that you identify after a fairly lengthy process which includes not only identifying on what you want to feel about all aspects of your life, but also reflecting on those you don’t as well as the things that did not go well.  I downloaded the workbook and since Christmas, started working my way through it.  I completed my CDFs for this year, still working three I identified last year (Abundant, Healthy and Joy) and added two more (Gratitude and Presence).  Much of what I decide to engage in or be informed by will be based on these CDFs.  You can learn more and purchase the Desire Map book here or sign up for the video course here.


“Desire mapping” and using my planner to write, reflect and refine my goals

Planner Love

I believe the right planner makes all of the difference in the world for me.  I have used so many different systems through the years….some worked others did not.  The written planner for all of my creative, life and business goals lately has been The Desire Map Planner.  Using the CDFs I identified for the year, it enables you to make decisions and schedule activities, etc., based on the question “What I Will Do To Feel The Way I Want to Feel?”  There are a couple of versions of the planner, one which is a Daily Edition which I got last year and this year I am using the Weekly version for 2018, which is full of cool things to help guide you through the week like asking what are three things you want to get done this week, an area for daily To-Do lists,  soul prompts, and area to keep your CDFs in full view as a reminder of what you committed to for the year.  And beautiful artwork on the cover from artist Marta Spendowska!  Interested in exploring and getting one for yourself?  Click here.

Need Help in Setting Your Creative Goals for 2018?


Webinar 3 - Creative Goals

These are just some of the methods I am using to plan and manifest my goals this year. How are you grounding and preparing to reach your life and creative goals this year?

Will 2018 be the year that you let your inner creative loose? Or the year you will actually sign up for guitar lessons? Create that cookbook from the food you love to cook that everyone raves about? Start that novel?

This coming Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 7:30 pm ET, through Spark Your Creative, I will be hosting a complimentary webinar will explore how to get started on reaching your creative goals for 2018. We will discuss:

-How to move past procrastination and make your creative life more of a priority

-Setting easy milestones to help you move forward with your creative projects

-A complimentary creative planning and goal setting guide that you can use after the webinar is completed.

Link to the webinar and other information will be sent to all who register prior to the webinar.

Space is filling up quickly, register here to ensure your spot!

Looking forward to spending a creatively inspired year in 2018!


Summer Reading Guide for Creative Recovery and Inspiration


It’s summer and an excellent time to catch up on reading!

Although typically summer is good to read more fiction-based works, don’t neglect the opportunity to learn more about how to enhance your creativity, especially if you are striving to reach some creative goals before the end of the year.

I thought I would share a few of my favorite books that I have found to be helpful with my own creativity.  They all can be found in a variety of formats (Kindle, hard cover, soft cover or audio) and range from including exercises to help you get going with your creative work to providing motivational messages to keep you on track.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

What it is about…

From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.”

The “Skinny”

The first thing I noticed about this book is how upbeat it is.  Gilbert gives down-to-earth and at times humorous testimony on the creation process in a fun and provocative way.   She provides anecdotes about personal creative triumphs and failures as a writer, as well as share stories from other artists which helps us all not to be discouraged from our own short-comings. The one-liners and awesome testimony ultimately focuses on encouraging readers to over come their own fears, whether by other people or themselves and have curiosity instead, lead the way to creative fulfillment.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

What it is about…

“The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity.  An international bestseller, it’s an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life.  Perhaps more vital in today’s cultural climate than it was when it was first pulbished a decade ago, it is powerfully provacative and inspiring work.”  The Artist’s Way

“The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills.  Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and a spiritual connection with God.” Wikipedia

The “Skinny”…

I consider this book is the “Grandmother” of creativity books and one that is most recognizable all over the world.  The book was first published in 1992, is divided into 12 chapters with exercises that can be conducted on a weekly basis, with topics such as recovering a sense of creative identity to recoverging a sense of faith.  Two important tools that Cameron shares for creativity recovery is Artists Dates and Morning Pages.

I first read this book in the early 2000s and was amazed how much it helped me to not only open my own creativity but also manifest success in other areas of my life.  I highly recommend it as the starter book for anyone who is interested in reclaiming their creative gifts at any point of their life.

The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte

“The Desire Map is a holistic approach to life planning that uses your core desired feelings as the guidance system for your goal setting. Over 125,000 copies sold and print in multiple languages.

Here’s the vibe of it: “With an organic elegance The Desire Mapcouples our primal desire-energy with the inborn intelligence of our feelings. The result? Optimizing our time on Earth. LaPorte’s joie de vivre is contagious. Prepare to catch it!” – Michael Bernard Beckwith I Life Visioning

And here’s why you need them: You’re a seeker who wants to get things done. You want to take your life from good to great. You want to strive less and at the same time, open up to the fortunes of life — from greater life force and passion, to cash, adventure and freedom of every kind. You’re here to design a life that’s an expression of your soul.” –

The “Skinny”….

The Desire Map was a life saver for me when I became personally dissatisfied with the way my art career was moving.  The book brilliantly leads you to the core question…”how do you want to want to feel?”   That question has lead me to make a lot of decisions based on what she defines is the “core desired feelings”…the main 3-5 feelings you want to experience with whatever you are doing, the relationships you are in engaged in or the choices you are making.  Since 2016, I have been working with the Desire Map to serve as a guide regarding almost everything I do.  If I am engaged in a project that does not meet my current (annual) core desired feelings, I get out of it.  As a creative person it is important that I stay true to my commitment to my creative practice. Using the Desire Map process, I am able to identify the projects and activities that resonate with my soul rather than from an ego-based perspective.

This book is perfect for those who are defining their creative goals and need help ensuring that they choose the kind of projects and activities that support them.

How Georgia Became O’Keeffe by Karen Karbo

What it is about…

“Most people associate Georgia O’Keeffe with New Mexico, painted cow skulls, and her flower paintings. She was revered for so long—born in 1887, died at age ninety-eight in 1986—that we forget how young, restless, passionate, searching, striking, even fearful she once was—a dazzling, mysterious female force in bohemian New York City during its heyday.

In this distinctive book, Karen Karbo cracks open the O’Keeffe icon in her characteristic style, making one of the greatest women painters in American history vital and relevant for yet another generation. She chronicles O’Keeffe’s early life, her desire to be an artist, and the key moment when art became her form of self-expression. She also explores O’Keeffe’s passionate love affair with master photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who took a series of 500 black-and-white photographs of O’Keeffe during the early years of their marriage.

How Georgia Became O’Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living delves into the long, extraordinary life of the renowned American painter, exploring a range of universal themes—from how to discover and nurture your individuality to what it means to be in a committed relationship while maintaining your independence, from finding your own style to developing the ability to take risks. Each chapter is built around an aspect of living that concerns women today of all ages: how to find your own path; work with passion and conviction; express yourself; be in a relationship without sacrificing your sense of self; and do it all with an effortless, unique style.

As with Karbo’s previous books, How Georgia Became O’Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living is not a traditional biography, but rather a compelling, contemporary reassessment of the life of O’Keeffe with an eye toward understanding what we can learn from her way of being in the world.” –

The Skinny…

This is not a how to regain your creativity book.  It is an inspiring read, focusing on one of the art world’s most talented and renown artists in the 20th Century.  Karbo takes us on a journey of how O’Keeffee became…well…O”Keeffee.  The story of the artist’s life provides a timeless testimony on how Georgia took risks and worked outside social norms at a challenging time for women artists  to stay focused on her own individuality and creative talent to produce some of the most beloved artwork that is still celebrated today.

This is the perfect book if you are looking to learn about an artistic icon and how their life can be an inspiration for your own creativity.

Feel free to add your favorite books on creativity in the comments so you can share with others as well.