Have you ever read The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte?
It's a wonderful book/workbook that helped me understand that the way I want to feel is where I want to put my focus - instead of focusing on what I want to have or achieve.
If you're not familiar with the book, it asks the reader to explore different areas of their life and identify how they want to feel in each. At the end of the process they will have 5 or 6 core desired feelings.
Have you ever made a decision from a place of how you want to feel versus what you want to have or be? It's really insightful and even more helpful if you have already felt what you want to feel.
Unfortunately I have a hard time keeping track of that many core desired feelings - I end up forgetting half, or most, of them. To make things easier I chose one word for the year, Paris, and lucky for me I already know how that feels.
Last November, I visited Paris for the third time (my last trip was 16 years ago - too long!) and I was reminded of the magic I feel - how magical I feel - when I am in Paris.
But, to be truthful, my first day in Paris felt like I was just in another city and I was worried that I had romanticized my last experience in Paris. Then I realized that I was bringing who I was at home to Paris. I needed to let go, which meant surrendering to what I was actually feeling and let it come out.
What came out was a lot of confusion, hurt, and crying.
After a couple days of tears and big emotions, I was woken up at 4:00 am with this message from somewhere deep inside of me:
"I don't owe anyone - anything."
For a recovering people-pleaser this was scary and radical and my first thought was "Oh jeez, what are people going to think about that????"
But it wasn't surprising, or the first time, that Paris challenged me to raise my standards in the way I want to feel and how I want to be treated. After that morning, I started to have glimpses of how I really wanted to feel and the magic I had previously experienced in Paris returned.
For me, Paris embodies:
Composed, self assured (confident in my own abilities and character), celebration (for who I am, my choices, and accomplishments - no matter how small), enjoyment, fun, pleasure, surrounded by beautiful things, living with a sense of occasion and style, elegance, manners, being present, slowing down, ease, abundance, and knowing that the universe is working for me.
I ended the trip knowing I had to figure out how to experience these feelings at home. The first step was believing it was possible without having to move to Paris in order to feel this way.