My Desire Map story: A tale of three turning points
I’m sitting on a porch surrounded by a lush, tropical jungle in Langkawi, Malaysia. The sun beams down on me. My glass of tropical juice sweats in my hand. Sometimes I have to go inside my bungalow when a monkey, a long-tailed macaque, tries to join me. Unfortunately, I also have my laptop on my lap. Instead of relaxing on my vacation, I am working on my master’s thesis. My goal is to earn a master’s degree to make myself more marketable to non-profits when I return to live in the US.
On this “vacation”, I am taking a nap on the beach on the day after Christmas. This nap is well deserved. While working full time, I am trying to complete a master’s degree. I am exhausted and physically tense beyond belief. Due to the grueling schedule, I am also delaying my dream of starting a family.
As I nap, my husband noticed the water recede. He had experienced earthquakes at our home in Japan and knew tsunami’s warning signs. He can tell something is wrong. He wakes me up and tells me we have to get off the beach right now. I go from asleep to running at full speed in seconds.
As we run, my husband yells “tsunami” to warn others. I am too terrified to look behind me. I run as fast as I can. We just manage to escape the first wave after running from the far end of the beach.
On December 26, 2004, the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami killed over 220,000 people. It affected people in a total of 14 countries. My brush with natural disaster also made me reflect on what was important in my life. Why was I working while on vacation? Why was I waiting to start a family?
This was turning point number one for me in my relationship to goal setting and life priorities.
I am sitting across the desk from my obstetrician in her office. She has a concerned look on her face. In my previous visit, my doctor had delivered the shocking news: I was pregnant with identical twins. It has taken me a month to come to terms with this news. Instead of being parents to an only child, I would have two babies at once.
In this visit, my kind doctor explains to me that my twins were no longer alive. I was having a missed miscarriage. I am devastated. As I sit numb with grief, my doctor delivers a string of more bad news. First, I need to have a surgery to remove the no longer viable twins. Second, due to the Japanese New Year’s holiday, I will have to wait five days for the surgery. In the meantime, I may experience a natural miscarriage. Third, my doctor has taken a job at another hospital and will not be able to perform the surgery. I hold myself together in the taxi on the way home and begin to sob the moment I enter my apartment.
The roller coaster of pregnancy and loss are turning point number two for me. My relationship with goal setting and life planning continues to evolve. When my body and soul are ready, I decide to try again to start a family. This time I know that my deepest desires and goals are not always in my control.
Turning point number three is gradual and takes place over eight years. During this time, my son is born and a few months later we return to live in the United States. Over the course of two years, I cope with reverse culture shock and being a new parent. When my son is two, I return to work full-time as a fundraiser.
Over the next six years, I feel more like a “human doing” instead of a human being. It is harder being a working parent than I had anticipated. I am conflicted, but I don’t have clarity on how I want to feel in my life.
I work long hours. I have a long, unpredictable drive to and from work, often with a sleeping preschooler in the back seat. I feel guilty that I am not spending enough time with my son. I miss important events in his life. I even go to a weekend work event on his fifth birthday. In my role working for schools, I go to many school events for other people’s children. But I miss many of my own son’s events.
I pour myself into my work, yet I do not always feel valued by my employer. Work takes a toll on me. My health is in poor shape. I do not exercise on a regular basis and weigh more than I should. My muscles, especially in my neck and shoulders, are tied up in knots. I suffer from regular migraines. I hardly take any vacation time. I do not make time for my friends.
I am burned out. Something has to change. I realize that I am in the midst of a mid-life transition.
Then, I discover The Desire Map and devour the book from cover to cover. While reading, I had an “aha” moment. What I had been doing was missing feelings and the process was reversed! I realize that many of the goals I am setting for myself are not making me happy. I used The Desire Map to help me pivot and find renewed purpose.
I subscribe to Danielle LaPorte’s email list shortly afterward. I receive an email with the #Truthbomb “Everything is about to change.” I see this as a sign as I have decided to resign from my job the next day. Over the next few weeks, #truthbomb after #truthbomb seem to speak directly to me. For example, “Only you need to trust your intuition.” Or, “Negative feelings are wake up calls.
Since I have completed the Desire Map process, my life has improved in so many ways. My migraines disappeared. My relationship with my son is richer. I spend more time with him and feel more present when we are together. I’ve gotten to know my neighbors. I make time for my friends near and far. Without a diet, I went down two clothing sizes. I won a tennis tournament. I visited my family in England, whom I hadn’t seen in over a decade. I began to write again and even received an honorable mention in a national writing competition. I found a fulfilling volunteer role at my son’s school. I began teaching yoga as a side hustle. I became a Desire Map facilitator.
The Desire Map has had a huge positive impact on my life. When I learned about the Desire Map facilitator program, I knew I had to join. The Desire Map process is a powerful tool to maneuver through a transition to create a life that feels how you want to feel.
Let me help you experience the transformative power of The Desire Map for yourself.