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How do you want to feel?

Oh, that Danielle. How do you want to feel, she asks.

Like a heat + clarity-seeking truth missile, how do you want to feel locates the core  of it all…and detonates with the light of a thousand suns.

When I first got my hands on the Desire Map, I devoured it and allowed the juices to run down my chin and arms. Delicious fruit can be eaten no other way.

And then, in February, 2013, I was invited by Team D to share my core desired feelings with the Desire Mapper community. I was honoured, touched and a little shy. Naming desires can feel, so, public. Even selfish? Ooooh yeah…THAT. Maybe I’ll be judged for the flimsiness of my desires. Maybe my desires aren’t enough.

You read that correctly. “Maybe my desires aren’t enough.” Given that this is the work that I do, THAT feels hard to admit. Because here’s what I know to be true…at the very foundation of it all, this life, this VERY life is short. And deeply precious. Your purpose is rooted in what you desire. And living a life of purpose, to me, is what it’s all about. Circular sweetness.

It’s called evolution.

In celebration of Danielle’s new site, and my desire for YOU to name your desires, I wanted to revisit my responses from February to see what has changed in the past 11 months. Much has, but not my core desired feelings.

Q+A with Team Danielle (February 2013)

1. What are your core desired feelings? Or even tell us just one.

Joy, joy and more joy.

“Don’t postpone joy” was my Mama’s mantra and it has informed how I’ve lived (and loved) for the last couple of years of my life…which, not surprisingly, have been the most joyful. (Mm hmm.)

And for me to feel my personal brand of joy, I must feel prosperous, gorgeous, generous, in connection and grateful (ever grateful).

2. What have you stopped doing so that you could create one/all of these core desired feelings?

I’ve given up the empty calories of regret. Not postponing joy has required me to stop living in the past. Bemoaning twists and turns, zigs and zags has always left me feeling insufficient, ugly, stingy, disconnected and selfish. Unhooking myself from coulda woulda shoulda’s feels infinitely lighter…more me.

3. What are you doing THIS week to generate any of your core desired feelings?

I’ll be in NYC at the end of the month for the wrap-up day of The Golden Ticket (with Michelle Ward). I’m bringing my family and I just booked a pretty sweet hotel room (with plans to do it up right). That’s mighty aligned with how prosperous feels to me.

(Update:: it.was.a.blast.)

I’m gorgi-fying my work space this week. New paint, new furniture, framing the kid’s art. I’m also gorgi-fying my post-holiday self-care. Things got a little, erm, “festive” over the holidays (read: I apologize if I didn’t leave any brie and prosecco for you). But instead of berating myself with the coulda woulda shouldas, I’ve got a plan in motion that feels as gorgeous as I want to feel.

The desire to feel generous + grateful have led to daily inquiries: Who can I help today? What am I grateful for? Turns out, these are muscles that are quite loose and limber already, so I know there’s an opportunity for me to dive deeper and strengthen them.

As for connection, there’s a way that the first week of the year feels like it’s all ABOUT connecting: like the holidays have shone a light on the relationships that matter. So the work required for me won’t be this week: it will be in ensuring that I keep this light on throughout the year.

4. What are you listening to that gets your core desired feelings revved up?

All music that I can hear in my heart makes me feel grateful.

Iron + Wine’s Trapeze Swinger and Bon Iver’s Holocene are two mainlines for me to feel connected with my own fine self. A little kitchen dancing to Michael Franti brings my family’s heart back to centre.

Old-school Annie Lennox makes me feel gorgeous.

Music that makes me feel generous or prosperous? I’ll get back to you on that.

{Side note: children singing the national anthem and bagpipers in parades makes my heart melt from something that feels like joy, but that includes a confounding cocktail of sweet sadness, frisson, and inexplicably, silliness.)

So this morning, I checked in with the question:: How do I want to feel? And the answer:: As ever, generous, in connection and grateful (ever grateful), prosperous and gorgeous.

What I’m doing in 2014 to keep those lit up.

There’s always room for me to deepen into generosity. There is no doubt that this aspect of my realm wants some more attention. How can I offer more of my time, talents and attention in ways that are helpful, loving, and truthful…this is my continued enquiry. I’m gaining on it.

It’s the “in connection” piece that has been troubling me. Oh, my natural set-point as a 2 on the Enneagram and a Myers-Briggs ESFJ makes good ‘n sure that that I pay extra attention and offer exquisite care to my family, friends and clients. But my list, the lovely human beings who have offered me permission to contact them with my words…I’ve been wanting to find more meaningful ways to connect with them. And so, desire leads to action and I’m currently working on a Monthly Missive (so much more gorgeous than “newsletter”, non?). It will offer Backstage Access to what I’m working on, appreciating, sharing and will invite readers to go deeper in their own enquiry (as desired). And swag bags, yes yes yes…treats every month. (I’d get on the list if I were you. And you can thank Danielle later.)

How do YOU want to feel? Get out the Map.

Get out the map
And lay your finger anywhere down
We’ll leave the figurin’ to those
We pass on our way out of town
Don’t drink the water
There seems to be somethin’ ailin’ everyone
I’m gonna clear my head
I’m gonna drink that sun
I’m gonna love you good and strong
While our love is good and young.

 – Indigo Girls (Get out the Map)

Knowing the answer to how you want to feel WILL transform everything. How you relate, communicate, love, work, cook, sing, plan, parent, create. Everything. Danielle and the Desire Map suite of goodness will guide you through the elegant process of getting to the heart of (what) matters:: your desires.

So…how do YOU want to feel?

Things I love in 400 words (2012 edition)

Long, long ago, a friend returned from a trip to Europe with 100s of developed pictures. And I looked at each and every one. Correction: I SAVOURED each and every one. This to me felt significant because I barely look at my own pictures of trips to Europe with that level of reverence.

But these were different, these were truly beautiful. I mean, sure, I got nice shots of the Seine, flower carts, rolling hills of vineyards, ancient fountains and the requisite snap of my husband with the Eiffel tower (and other landmarks) sticking out of his head.

The difference, I realized, was that Elly saw beauty in everything. Everything. And though she would argue that she’s  not a skilled photographer, she was able to CAPTURE that beauty in everything. Everything.

What a gorgeous way to move through the world.

I don’t believe that my gift is in seeing (and capturing) the beauty all around me. But I do see the grace. It’s everywhere, ready to be witnessed and savoured.

I’ve been invited to speak at a Gratitude Tea this Sunday in Toronto. It’s a fundraiser and the intention is to bring someone who has shaped your life to celebrate your gratitude for them. Celebrating gratitude, ummmm, yes please. (And there’s still time to get your ticket).

And so, with gratitude on my heart and in my writing, I’ve decided to reprise the post I did a year ago inspired by Elan Morgan (a woman I’m becoming increasingly grateful for).


Grace is a circular blessing. The more grace enters your life, the more grateful you are. The more grateful you are, the more easily grace seems to enter.

- David Brazier

Among other things, I love:

Full-hearted people who show up…even if you barely know them, baked potatoes with greek yogurt + chives, the stiff and uncracked spine of a new book, the soft and dog-eared pages of an old book, making lists, that moment of removing high heels, forgiveness, everything about the Sound of Music, impromptu dinner parties, the stage, generous people who make me want to be more generous, pizza night (though VPN pizza is a close second), witnessing acts of courtesy among strangers, TED red toenails, “it’s handled” emails from my VA, nanaimo bars near Nanaimo, the infectious quality of enthusiasm, wood-burning fires, retiring long-held beliefs that no longer serve, crossing guards who care, garden yoga, heart-to-hearts, reading just the right words at just the right moment, getting my makeup done for me, the ahhhhh of white space, staplers that mean business, the stillness of a stilling question, Erasure’s “A Little Respect” (like, every couple of years), clearing out my inbox, the song of Riedel glasses, new levels of appreciation, bagpipes in parades, the magic that lingers in a group long after a Board of Your Life session has ended, most cheeses beginning with “St.”, the perfectly picked gift destined to thrill someone, the memory of that Christmas Eve in Innsbruck, co-working with Jamie, pressing checkout on Kiva donations, making homemade ravioli (it’s never about the end product), Dropbox, my daughter’s current love of fluorescent pink, eye contact, humility, crisp linens, letters from Santa, firm black plums, the smell of grinding coffee, shifted (and shifting) perspectives, farmers’ markets, finding a full book of stamps, Staedler Triplus Fineliners, the “pop” of a champagne cork, the perplexing power of intention, dividing and sharing hostas, Dad’s borscht, genius ideas straight from the muse that cannot and will not wait to be captured until morning, fresh-picked cherries still warm from the sun, acts of courage, Scandinavian spa silliness with my husband (we are lousy at staying hushed), camping with our wonderful and wonderfully prepared friends (we are lousy at being prepared for camping), April in Paris (or September in Paris, or June in Paris, or…), kitchen dance parties, the way my Instagram feed feels like receiving postcards of peoples’ lives, inari sushi, knowing where the hand-crank flashlight is at all times, beach glass, freedom, sleepovers with my sister, getting to do my heart’s work, coming full circle, the sheer brilliance of The Desire Map and Gratitude Teas.

Yes. More please.

And you, Dear One? What do you love?


Today is End Sex Trafficking Day

As the title of this post suggests, today IS End Sex Trafficking Day. Can you believe there even needs to be a day dedicated to this? That such horror exists?

It does.

Women and children are bought and sold every 30 seconds around the world.

How many ways can we say: unacceptable?

When Erin Giles reached out to me in the spring to tell me about End Sex Trafficking Day and her desire to curate a book to help end this madness, about the project, I was an immediate and effusive, YES.

Buy a copy of End Sex Trafficking for $20 — a collection of 60 essays on love, knowledge + freedom by trailblazers like Seth Godin, Danielle La Porte, Jonathan Fields and yours truly (I wrote about love: “The Wisdom of the Beaten Heart”) — and all of the authors proceeds goes to the Not For Sale Campaign an organization fighting to abolish slavery every single day.

None of the essay contributors, the publisher or the editor is taking any money from sales. It’s not just a book, it’s a chance to change the world.


More than 27 million human beings are enslaved in the world in 2012. So — you want to stand up for freedom…today?


Let’s get this pressing message to all the hearts and lit up screens we can.

Thank you, you free and compassionate soul.

Click to tweet:

Just bought a copy of End Sex Trafficking. $20 = Women Freed + One Step Closer to abolishing modern slavery #ESTDay2012

Tweet to free lives, help us end sex trafficking today on End Sex Trafficking Day #ESTDay2012.

You’re Invited: Toronto Firestarter Session Launch Party (April 19th)

Oprah’s not the only Hot Shot coming to Toronto the week of April 16th. My friend and business crush Danielle LaPorte  is coming to town to celebrate my mention in the May issue of Canadian Living.

Okay. Maybe not.

But she IS coming to town to launch her (hothothothothot) book: The Fire Starter Sessions. (The very book that has yet to leave my side).

New friends. Old friends. And DANIELLE!

Click on the invite to get your ticket. See you and your dancing shoes on the 19th at the Gladstone Hotel.

Thing Finding with Danielle LaPorte of White Hot Truth

You know I love me some Danielle LaPorte. Told you so here, here, here and here. In my mind, she is THE High Priestess of Passion Persuasion and a sublimely generous friend. So when I decided to dive into the realm of Thing Finding, there was zero doubt who I’d be contacting for an interview. This was actually recorded a good while ago, but like all things golden, it has stood the test of time.

Danielle is the author of the Spark Kit (got yours yet?) and most recently co-authored Your Big Beautiful Book Plan with Linda Sivertsen.

When I was asked to review this latest tome of gorgeousness, I said this:

“It’s a rich buffet of ideas, tools and resources, delivered with soulful practicality and sizzling pragmatism.”

I still say that.

In this video, we talk about wooing your thing, how gratitude can be used as key evidence in the process, the killer of thing-finding {spoiler alert: comparison}, and you’ll bear witness to her best impression of a saboteur (not to be missed). She’ll also share with you (drum roll, please) THE FORMULA.


Interview with Danielle LaPorte for Thing Finding Thursday

How delightful is this woman, I ask you? Time spent in her presence, time spent in her words, is like time spent at an old-school Nordic spa for the mind. Hot submersion then cold plunge, then back to off-the charts heat again. Invigorating and ultimately oh-so restorative. And do you see what I mean about her flagrant generosity? Now please go ahead and spread the love inherent in her wisdom with your peeps, will you?

Tweetworthy Danielle-isms (for your sharing pleasure)

  • Practicality and passion are a wicked combo. – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs 
  • Go on a comparison diet. – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs
  • Take the charge out of finding your genius. Like, what makes you happy? – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs
  • There is nothing original out there. – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs
  • We are not doers, we are deciders (from the Book of Runes) via @DanielleLaporte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs
  • I don’t get off on failure. – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs
  • Appreciate what you have. That’s the formula. – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs

Transcript of edited interview (for your reading pleasure)

Tanya: So something that you have written always, always, always piqued my curiosity and got my juices going. The enthusiasm is the genuine yes that will uncork your genius. That’s sublime. I absolutely love that.

Danielle: It’s so juicy. You’re so uncorked anyhow.

Danielle: Well, I think first you need to believe that you have genius. That’s sort of half the journey. I know it’s in there somewhere. I haven’t uncorked it. I haven’t stumbled across it. I’m certainly not making any money off of it yet, but it’s in there somewhere. So just believe that it’s in there somewhere. I’m often telling people that whatever is showing up in your life in the form of gratitude, people being grateful for you and appreciating and thanking you, whatever you’re getting thanks for is an indication of whatever your gift is or your genius.

What are people showing their gratitude for? When do you feel no sense of time? When do you look up from whatever you’re doing, whether it’s baking cookies or writing a blog post or tinkering with something, and five hours have gone by and you don’t remember how you got there? That’s the sign of being in the flow as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says. Aren’t you impressed that I can say his name?

Tanya: So impressed.

Danielle: So those are some indicators. I think we also need to take the charge out of finding our genius and just start in a gentle way like what makes you happy. Soft and happy. Just start there.

Tanya: I think that that sometimes scares that away, you know, this whole energy of like bigness, bigness, bigness. So I think that that’s possible that there is a bit of a story. What if it’s more just kind of a whisper? Do you know?

Danielle: Yes. And it can be more than a whisper. It can still feel hot, electric and juicy, but it doesn’t mean you need to go make money on it necessarily. It would be great. I mean, I’m aiming for the ideal that that’s what you can do. It doesn’t mean you need to launch it or go back to school. So I think if we just take the expectations off of finding out what it is it will help us get there sooner. It’s like falling in love, right? Are you the guy? Or it’s like the old Dr. Seuss story, “Dr. Seuss, are you my mother?” He doesn’t find his mother until he’s just hanging out. Do you know?

Tanya: Yeah.

Danielle: Yeah. You let it go and then, poop, it will pop up.

Tanya: What are things that people are coming up against as they try to woo their thing?

Danielle: As they try to woo their thing? That’s such a great – Oh, comparison. It’s toxic. It’s a killer. Don’t do it. It goes like this. What I want to say has already been said. Her brand is like my brand. She got there, he got there to market before I did. Who am I to do this? I’m not qualified. They have more qualifications. They, they, they, they, they. Guess what? You’re an original just because it’s all coming through your lens, your perspective, your voice, your experience, your drive, your level of interest. So nobody has said what you’re going to say. By the way, there is nothing original out there. It’s been said. What I’m saying, what I say on it’s perennial stuff. You can find lots of teachers that talk about it. But nobody talks about it in the way I do. So comparison sucks. Just stop and knock it off. Just go on a comparison diet.

Fears in wooing stuff. Well, there is the what if I fail? Just make a decision and do it. Just decide. Just do. There is a great saying from the book of the Runes, “We are not doers, we are deciders, and once we decide the doing becomes easy.” So doing something and making a mistake is superior, underlined, italicized, to not doing anything. Now that doesn’t mean you don’t have to wait some things out and everything, especially business, so much to do with timing. But you do something and you fail, you will still be further ahead. Even if you’re in the hole financially, you will still be further ahead.

You will have more courage. You will have more faith. You will have more acumen. You will have more contacts at the bank. You will have more resources for your next thing. Just do something. Find out. And in that regard, quit soon and fail fast. If it sucks, leave it. Of course, there is time. I mean, everything I talk about is contradiction. So let’s get that on the table.

Tanya: Love it.

Danielle: Of course there are times where you persist and you endure and all that stuff. But if it’s not working, can it and leave it. Seth Godin in his book, The Dip, about this, “Winners quit sooner.”

Danielle: I also have a contradiction to that.

Tanya: Bring it.

Danielle: Fail fucking sucks. I want to be clear that my focus here is about executing. It’s about creating. It’s about doing so you can go on. Failure is often part of it, but it’s not – Some entrepreneurs get off on their failures. I don’t get off on failure. I have learned a lot more from my successes than I have from my failures for sure.

Danielle: Do I have a saboteur? Yes. Yes, I do. I’ve never articulated so we’re having a live moment here. I can tell you my saboteur are all those little – I really dislike them.  I need to be careful here. My saboteur is a 30 something, Adidas wearing, running show wearing, geek, social media addicted guy from Silicon Valley. He is a bit spiritually vacant and highly fucking cynical. That personality, that kind of avatar is my saboteur. So sometimes I think I’m being too spiritual or I’m not being grounded or, yeah, too out there, too Abraham Hicks. Is that guy behind me going, “this doesn’t work in the real world?” Do you know what I say to him? I say, “You haven’t been properly hugged in months, mister. You probably have sex like a robot.” And you know know what I got is hot. And that’s how I deal with my saboteur. I tell him to go fuck himself.

Tanya: Oh my goodness.

Danielle: Yeah, that crowd scares me definitely. But I’m almost over it.

Tanya: Sorry, I’m not finding – That’s really, really good. I just got to tell you, I wanted to hug him too. I just wanted to hug him too like he needs to be properly hugged like heart to heart, man.

Danielle: Saboteurs they really need love. They’re just coming to the table. Love me.

Tanya: Do you have any final desire for our viewers, people who are picking up what’s my thing? What do you want for them, Danielle?

Danielle: Don’t quit your day job. It is your birthright to have your thing. Be practical about your passion. Practicality and passion are a wicked combo. It’s perfectly alright to want to be happy the majority of the time and it can be done.

Tanya: Yeah.

Danielle: Appreciate what you have. That’s the formula. You want to find your thing. You want to move ahead. You want velocity. You need to appreciate everything that’s going on in your life right now. You need to appreciate that you have a bitchy boss. You need to appreciate the money that you are making. You need to appreciate that you’re stuck. You need to see the beauty in the people that you’re working with.

You need to realize, and if you’re watching this, you probably live in the western world. The fact that you’re watching this on the computer means you have the democratic choice to do that and the financial means to do that. So I’ll leave it on this note. Whatever you got going you got it good. Be grateful for it. When you appreciate that, you will attract more into your life to be appreciative for. It just gets better.


If you haven’t already, you can find Danielle at White Hot Truth and on Twitter.

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