Monday, 28 October 2013

Review: The Book under my Pillow.

There's this book under my pilllow. It's been there since I finished reading it. It's a reminder to keep present all I have to do to feel aligned with my higher self and proudly alive. Fully. Fearlessly. Those words have become my compass. They are my ultimate goal in life no matter if they change with time or evolve.

Before having that compass I had a list of goals to achieve in life. I started writing goals when I was 11 years old. In my hometown there was no university and neither of my parents had university education, however I wrote in my diary: I want to go to university no matter what. No matter why. When I was 20 years old, while in college, I wrote a list of professional, personal, and financial goals. I achieved some of them: got a university degree, worked for universities, traveled abroad, met people from distant latitudes...

And when I achieved all those things, especially when I got back from England after a 2 year stay, I felt I was done. I was going through a not nice reverse-culture-shock phase and I started doubting about everything. My list of goals started to feel pointless because I didn't quite know why I wanted them. I began questioning myself about what, I reckoned, would allow me make a living for my entire life: teaching. It didn't make sense anymore and I couldn't get rid of this unconfortable sensation of chasing goals like a gerbil in a wheel. I felt trapped.  So, I quit my day job and started working as an entrepeneur. At the same time I got to know about Danielle Laporte and bought her book The Fire Starter Sessions. That was like an appetizzer for what was to come from her sleeve: The Desire Map.

When reading The Desire Map, I got to understand why I felt like a gerbil in a wheel. I started to see my non-sense goal chasing race. I, myself,  had hung a carrot in front of me to chase it and the carrot was my list of goals. In order to get them I was ignoring my feelings, I was denying my intuition. My rationality had invalidated my intuition so badly, that I stopped believing my feelings could be the path to connect with my soul. And being connected with my soul is what really makes me happy, what brings me joy.  Not any consumerist goal or what Colombians conceive as success: a lot of money, a Masters degree, a house, a car, a marriage, a family, a farm. The Desire Map and Danielle Laporte's words have helped me validate my feelings and my intuition as THE compass to make choices, to say no, to say yes.

The Desire Map has also helped me realize how hungry of recognition I was. Probably I still am but before reading the Desire Map, I hadn't accepted it. And this is how I found out: In one of the many exercises from the book, I had to choose those adjectives that indicated how I wanted to feel regarding an aspect of your life. I selected adjectives that ended in -ing form. She clarified that picking those those -ing form adjectives meant doing things to get validated by people around me. I realized I had done it during my entire life: doing and doing, proving, striving in order to get a pat on my back. And my goals had been written under that exhausting logics but I hadn't realized about it. That was the unconfortable feeling I had after getting back from England. That was why I felt trapped like a gerbil in a wheel and the Desire Map helped me notice. And that noticing felt amazing, the least to say.

Writing this review is another step in a long journey that started when reading and re-reading the Desire Map: It has meant turning a light where there was only darkness. And the story of the adjectives is only a window that has been lit up in the huge building of my subconscious. No matter if it's Danielle Laporte's words or my own writing in the workbook describing what creative bliss feels like, for example. This book is where I find inspiration and courage to carry on. This book also reminds me that a Masters degree or a house or a marriage is not what makes me happy, but the feelings I get when I try to pursue them. The Desire Map is like a pit stop to get the fuel, to stay tuned with my core desire feelings. And that is why this book is under my pillow and won't be archived in my bookcase any soon.

In case you would like to read the book and share what it does in your mind, your spirit and your heart, check this out: the Desire Book Club Bogota