I can't actually remember the day I finished Desire Mapping. But I can tell you that the Core Desire Feelings I arrived at were: Clear. Light. Open.
As someone who worships at The Altar of Danielle it somehow feels heretical to say that I can only sorta explain how and I why I arrived at those words. I did really love and value the process. But somehow, living with these words hasn't been a game-changer. (Though, sure, I've just purchased yet another annual planner in the hope that it will magically stick next year. Sigh.)
What has really struck me, however, is how these three words give me a sense of upward motion. Of clarity. Of levity. Of an invitation to the divine. It all feels beautiful, transcendent... but somehow passively hopeful of something descending on me from up there.
Anyone woman who has given birth to a child -- regardless of the mode of delivery -- will tell you that you can live in your head, look to the heavens, cleanse your Crown Chakra all you like. But neglect your pelvic floor and you're in for a lot of trouble.
I learn that one the hard way, time and time again. When my back goes PING! that's pretty much the end of everything I have planned for the week. And every illusion of control. Or grace.
I'd be truly delighted to live a hermetically sealed life of decadent intellectual and sensory pursuits. This would conveniently obviate the need to bump up against other people, revealing the parts of myself that are murky, broken and afraid.
But life just ain't like that. For me, anyway.
And thank goodness.
So when the word Alchemy arrived, it felt like the perfect counterweight to all the Clear Light Open business. I don't think that alchemy is a Core Desired Feeling. It doesn't feel like something to aspire to. It's just... there. A poignant reminder that there is an unknowable on the periphery of our everyday.
This unknowing can feel dark and dangerous. But it's also where the magic happens.
I share this with you because I felt called to dedicate this year's Reverb reflective writing challenge to the celebration of all things alchemical. As I said yesterday, I live with so many unanswered questions. And I know I am not alone in this. Somehow, it feels important to honour the fact that we're still asking the questions.
I really hope you will join me.
This feels also like the moment to say: some of this year's questions are big ones. The answers may not arrive neatly. It may not be possible to respond every day. If they do arrive in a blinding, intuitive flash, go with it, of course! But I'd also encourage you to borrow one of my Core Desired Feelings and continue to stay OPEN.
Because you just never know...