core desired feelings and 2014 intentions

feeling good

So as I have mentioned I have been using The Desire Map to work on how I want to feel rather than chasing goals. Although I seem to plod after goals. The next step is about taking actions to bring these feelings into different areas of my life (relationships, body, soul, livelihood, etc). And it doesn’t have to be big actions. It can be a small as deciding what to wear today.

I thought I would share my core desired feelings with you – you know because I am a blogger!

courage Courageous

For me this is about living my ultimate life. Not letting fear and doubt hold me back. I am an expert procrastinator which I think is often linked to fear and uncertainty. To be courageous is to feel stronger and braver, change what I can’t accept, accept what I can’t change, be adventurous and be fully me.

nourishment Nourishment

I want to be healthy and nourished in my body and feed my mind and soul. I also want to nourish the relationships that are important to me. Connect with friends and family (especially important with me having moved again), cherish my relationship with Tim and build new relationships. Gratitude is important here  and making more thoughtful and conscientious decisions.

creativity Creative

I feel happy when I create: taking photographs, making something with my hands. I also want to be creative in other parts of my life – cooking, connecting, what I wear, what we do on date night. I think it is also important for me to stop being passively creative (i.e. spending hours of my life on pinterest) and spend more of my time actually creating.

content Content

I think many speak of exhilaration and joy and I don’t find it hard to spot these moments in my life when they happen. I would however, like to cultivate the moments that I am just calmly content and focus on that instead of dwelling on negative things. Again there is an element of gratitude and appreciation. It is also about what I have read somewhere about ‘practising enoughness’. As an environmentalist I think it is important that we don’t over-consume and being happy with what I have is definitely something I need to work on, because for some reason I always seem to want a new pair of shoes!

luminous Luminous

I really like this one. I just feel open thinking about the word. There are several layers to this – a physical sense of confidence, working on being ‘brilliant’ – the best I can be, being positive, a figurative sense of sharing ‘my light’ – sharing . Also, just buying a lamp for our lounge that has a lovely light rather than the harsh overhead light (that I actually accidentally killed on new year’s eve)!

With those in mind my big intentions for this year are …

  1. Making photography my business. Fear has held me back and for a long time I have worked in jobs that are the just-paying-the-bills-variety. I love taking photos and why shouldn’t I make a living from something that I find joyful?
  2. Make everyday creative – whether it is taking a photo, cooking a new dish, making something or hopefully some more ideas will come to me.
  3. Nourish my body with healthy food and exercise so that I feel luminous in my wedding dress.
  4. Learn Italian – I would like to reach level B1 by the end of the year. Not quite a ‘feeling’ thing but living in a country and only having a basic grasp is a bit trying.
  5. Finish my dissertation (this has nothing to do with my current core desired feelings but has to be done!)

Weekly and monthly I will also undertake actions to help me feel my core desired feelings.

This week:

  • I am nourishing my sense of adventure and relationship with Tim by being a tourist in our new town.
  • I’ve started a creative gratitude project over on instragram #mygratitude365.
  • I am aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day and drink lots of water.

I’ve had so much fun reading about other’s goals for the year so good luck and I look forward to reading some more.

what’s coming in 2014?

vigilia-di-capodanno It felt like 2014 has snuck up on me a bit. Seriously. I thought Vigilia di Capodanno was tomorrow!

2014 is shaping up to be a pretty amazing year. It has a lot to live up to with how awesome 2013 has been but I figure that turning 30 (which I feel has some weight) and marrying the love of my life means this is going to be a good year too. We are also planning some trips which might stretch the bank balance but a summer of honeymooning (Tim gets great summer holidays) and a trip to South Africa to celebrate our marriage with those who aren’t able to make it to London seems like a worthwhile way to go.

I’m resisting setting ‘goals’ this year. They just never seem to quite work and more amazing shizzle seems to come along anyway. I have been working through the Desire Map by Danielle le Porte though. Have you heard of it? It is about digging down and finding out what your core desired feelings are – how you want to feel most of the time rather than chasing goals which often ends up making you miserable. I am on draft one of my ‘core desired feelings’ and am now seeing how those fit with me and how I will be putting those into practise.

I am also finding Susannah Conway’s Unravelling 2014 a good companion to the Desire Map. Just because I don’t want to set goals doesn’t mean I don’t want to accomplish things this year so I might share something a little later.

In the meantime today we are putting my mom and brother on a plane back to London, having a New Year’s Eve for two and perhaps sneaking off to the main square for some fireworks at midnight.

In the meantime BUON ANNO! See you next year.

Preparing for the new year

planning adventure in 2014

It is that time of year when we start reviewing the one that has been and planning for the one ahead.

I will share some more posts on both of these later but thought others might find these recent finds of mine useful.

I sway between making resolutions and not. When I do I normally forget about them and don’t actually ‘achieve’ them anyway but often unexpected loveliness comes along which makes life pretty darn good. I suppose I am kind of like a jellyfish in this respect. However, with the move I have felt like my life that was slowly plodding along towards a life of photographic greatness (dream big right?) has been kind of derailed and a new approach needs to be taken. Having floundered about for over six weeks now (can’t believe I have been here so long already) I am now focussing on planning and prepping for how I will make photographic greatness happen in the new year in a new country where I don’t speak the language…

Do you have a process for this time of year? Or any advice?

Poster from Ederle

the future

A little while ago I went to the Transport Museum to see the exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of the underground.  A selection of underground posters are on show giving advice on how to use the underground, where you can get to and the wonders of modern technology.

The one poster that has stuck in my mind is the one above which was made in 1926, showing the future a hundred years from then.  You can’t see the detail, and I can’t quite remember the timings, but basically it suggested that in the future travel would be revolutionised with high speed trains to Scotland taking around 20 minutes and flights (in blimp type aircrafts) taking approximately 36 hours.  What intrigued me about this ‘future reality’ in particular was how we perceive things will be in the future based on what things are like now. In 1926 trains were long established but cross-Atlantic flights were rare. The first trans-Atlantic flight had taken place in 1919 going from Newfoundland in the US to the UK and taking 23 days!  At the time, it must have seemed impossible that flights would be so fast as to only take the suggested 2 days but surely trains would only become faster (as I imagine train speed had already increased exponentially by that stage). Standing at the vantage point of 2013 I know that flights are exceedingly faster than that and have to say that the I am doubtful of a train being invented in the next 10 years that will take me to Scotland in 20 minutes when it currently takes me 2 hours to get across London.

I guess what I am taking away from this is that your current reality can distort the way you see your own future. Perhaps sometimes we need to suspend reality and disbelief and imagine how different our worlds can be in a year or ten or fifty. Things might not always go according to plan but did you imagine that ten years ago you would be sharing your life on the internet and you would walk around with devices that allowed you share ‘hipster’ photos and 140 character messages with people around the world, some who you have never even met. Imagine what you could do if you put those same ‘unexpectations’ on your dreams and yourself.

p.s. the Poster Exhibition is still open to the end of October 2013 if you want to find some vintage design inspiration!

rushing water

rushing-water-mycreative Sometimes you have a dream.  It forms slowly over time, becomes sharper and clarifies as you get older.  Like those kids you know in school “when I grow up I am going to be a doctor” and they grow up and become doctors.  I wasn’t one of those kids.  Sometimes these dreams come a bit later in life.  I’ve always loved photography but only a few years ago decided this was something I wanted to work towards as a career option.  It is like a slow moving river.  Steady and strong.  It gets bigger as it moves towards the sea.​

Sometimes you get new dreams.  The arrive suddenly.  An idea forms, clarifies quickly and you decide it must be done.  It is like a dam wall that has broken – plans and ideas rush out.  Now! It makes it no less a powerful thing because it is new.  In fact sometimes these dreams are the most poignant and become amazing realities.

That is what Posts Production has been.  We know we love making movies and that they add a great element to my blog and another outlet for creativity.  We hope that others will be as excited to learn the joy of creating a visual story and discover a new way of documenting their lives too.

​Our first class is on 1 June.  We hope you can join us.

three big ones

Light doesn’t always do what you think it will.  Neither does life.  Don’t you love photography metaphors.

I can’t say I thought at 28 my life would be where it is.  My life is full of wonderful things and I am mostly happy, it is just not what I had planned.  In fact I am pretty glad I am not where 16 year old me thought I would be because that would be married with babies and that just isn’t who I am anymore.

Anyway, after not getting another job this week I thought I need to make some big life proclamations.  I actually thought about these walking from the interview, knowing that I hadn’t been a good fit for the place but still hoping for an escape from the mundane job.

You have probably come across those lists where people suggest 25 things they want to get done before their 25th birthday (or whatever age they are next turning).  I in fact created such a list for my 28th. I can’t even remember what was on there without going to find the post about it and didn’t really get very far in achieving things.  I think the number was too great and they didn’t feel powerful enough.

In my current situation of working in a temp job that pays the bills (which I am extremely grateful for) but does not make my soul sing I thought I would make a “3 big things by 30” list.  I have just less two years to complete them (or be strongly on the way to completing) which I think is a reasonable time period.

  1. Visit South and/or Central America
  2. Start a social enterprise
  3. Work (at least part-time) as a photographer


I actually have a fourth one which is Learn Italian but 4 by 30 didn’t sound as catchy.  Future Michelle might change her mind about these but I am pretty darn sure this is where I want my life to go.

The plan is that by writing these desires down and making them public I will start putting stronger foundations under them and being more proactive in making them happen.  Hold me accountable and send me advice!

Have you got any big things you want to achieve in the next few years?