The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens

Core New Year


It was near the end of 2014 I came across Danielle LaPorte and her book entitled The Desire Map, and even though I have yet to purchase and read the book, it still has reached out to me. That’s some pretty powerful stuff – a book that can reach inside your brain without even reading it! So, I thought I would share with you what I have been given and hopefully also benefit you and of course, Danielle in some way in reciprocation.

The premise of The Desire Map is that you/I/we are setting goals. We’re setting goals we hope to reach and well, when we do, they somehow feel “soulless” (in the land of plenty and excess). Yeah, so what? The Desire Map invites you to explore what you are really striving for, and that is, the feeling that you hope to have/achieve when you reach said goal – not accomplishing the goal itself. Example: goal is to lose 10 pounds, whoopee lost 10 pounds but feel beautiful. Goal (desire) is to feel beautiful. Mental narrative: will that piece of rich, dark chocolate cake help you to lose 10 pounds? No. Will that piece of rich, dark chocolate cake make you feel beautiful? Depends – there’s more meaning  (aka soul) to that question. Immediately maybe my taste buds will feel beautiful and perhaps my mood. But honestly no, it will make me feel fatter, guilty, weak, angry at myself. Much more powerful reasons for passing on that delectable piece of cake. See the difference?

New Year’s Eve 2015 I spent in my rental in Cedar Key – quietly, cooking a nice dinner – AND exploring 5 to 6 words of what it was I wanted to feel for the remainder of 2015. And for every question, decision that I would have to make on my life’s path in 2015 I could simply ask myself does it make me feel … independent, ritual, creativity, earth-kissed, sexy, respected, worthy. Words I felt described my core desires for 2015. I even made myself a little graphic so that I could reference my words often.


I admit, the answers waned by mid-year but I wish they hadn’t. I wish in the middle of summer, when the going was a little tough on the job and me on myself, that I revisited these words to set me back on course.

[Side note: I also use Pinterest to motivate me. My meditation board is designed to “adjust my attitude” at any given time and it helps. It helps a lot.] … But taking some solitary time exploring core desires helps me more.

The exploratory exercise truly helped set my intention for the year of 2015 and I thoroughly enjoyed spending New Year’s Eve this way so much so that I did it again for 2016!

This past year (2015), I once again made a hopping john dish (a Southern tradition for bringing in luck for the New Year): hopping john fritters. (Recipe here.) And I listened to some frequency healing music (my new addiction) to add to the aura while sipping wine and mapping my core desire words for 2016. What did I reveal? What are my 2016 core desire words?

Expressive – Constant – Soaring – Channeled – Bohemian

And once again I made myself a little graphic which I think I will print and hang up in my newly rearranged and organized office (when I return home) so that I am reminded each and every day of what my core desires are for this year (and don’t wane).


Does it work? Just by writing this I realize that in 2014 I was feeling a little slighted – maybe working for free or not making enough for my time – and a little frumpy – getting fatter by the day – and a little too dependent upon things. I no longer feel those things – I feel more worthy and respected. I respect myself more than ever. I have been working out more and more and refining my Vegan diet, and so I’m also feeling pretty good physically, and I sure do have quite a new collection of sexy under ware (·)(·) ???

My intention this year is to be much more dedicated/consistent to my art and garden as well as building my place of peace (our new property on Grass Lake), and I think that is reflected in my core desire words “constant” and “expressive.” I also want to exceed, excel … “soar,” but I still want to feel grounded to my mission – “channeled” – yet keep this beautiful feeling of freedom and independence – quite “bohemian.”

I am looking very foreword to 2016! I hope you are, too, and that your New Year is revealing in its desires and that those desires bring you nothing but happiness.

Author: Kathy Sturr

Artist, master gardener, plant-based chef. Florida's Nature Coast / Indian River Lakes, NY

11 thoughts on “Core New Year

  1. Happy New Year, Kathy, and best wishes for inspiration throughout the year! May you accomplish those things that are truly important. You have made me realize I could use some sexy new (.)(.)! Hey, mine look like they are sagging!

    • Thank you Deb. You know I love love love your garden and I have to visit you more often! I almost wrote an “unexplained” new collection of sexy under ware – but really, there must be the explanation of intention ha ha, but that kinda snuck up on me!

  2. Well mapped, Kathy! I remember doing an exercise in my 20s where your partner asked, “What do you want?” You’d answer, then they asked, “What experience are you looking for?” This was repeated until your core answer (usually a feeling) was reached and stayed the same. Your post reminded of that exercise that I’ve used most of my life. It is very effective at getting to your bottom line!

  3. Beautiful! I watched a Danielle LaPorte interview a few years ago–thanks for reminding me of her ideas. I am ordering the book! Thanks you for the link to my black-eyed pea recipe. This year I turned them into a salad with arugula!

    • Thanks Letty! It was really good – yum, yum – only I used up some Swiss Chard I had on hand instead of Collards. Your salad sounds delicious. I plan to order Danielle’s book, too.

  4. Happy New Year Kathy. Your process is very interesting and informative. It is a great way to keep your eye on the goals….I like the graphic. I think it is why I make graphics of my word for the year. Looking forward to this bright New Year and how things go for you.

    • Happy New Year Donna! I’ll have to check in on you and learn what your word is for 2016. That would be tough for me – just ONE word – but it would probably be easier to stay focused that way! I know your year will be happy because you have a happy garden.

Thank you for joining me in the making of my garden!

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