The Self-Love Book Club Reads The Desire Map.

the-desire-mapI first read The Desire Map last January when I joined one of the London groups for Danielle Laporte’s world’s largest book club.

This ended up being one of the best decisions I made after moving to London, as it introduced me to an amazing group of women. A few of them quickly became my closest friends in the UK.

The book was a complete gamechanger for me as well. Learning the desire mapping process has transformed how I live my day-to-day life, set goals, and go after the things that I want.

Danielle flips the goal-setting process on its head by starting with how you want to feel and working backwards to figure out what steps you need to take to get there.

When you look at life this way, everything shifts. Achieving some of the big goals you thought were paramount to your happiness no longer make sense because you realize they’ll never help you feel how you want to feel.

And instead of pinning your happiness on some future accomplishment or event, you find ways to weave the feelings you want through all of your daily decisions, big and small.

The book helps you work through the process of honing in on what Danielle calls your “core desired feelings” – the feelings that motivate your decisions, whether you’re conscious of them or not.

We all want to feel good but sometimes we’re pretty mixed up when it comes to what will actually accomplish that. And feeling good means different things for different people.

My core desired feelings are magic, expansion, love, and adventure. I try to keep them in front of me all of the time: on a giant vision board in my room, carved into a candle on my altar, and scrawled on the front page of my Filofax. That way they’re always at the forefront of my mind, shaping my decisions and guiding me to prioritize feeling good rather than pesky “shoulds” that threaten to infringe on my happiness.

It’s the perfect book for January, when we’re all busy making plans and plotting out lives for the coming months, and I know I’ll come back to it year after year.

Here are what some of the other self-love book club babes thought about the book:

For as long as I can remember I’ve been horrible at keeping goals. After reading The Desire Map I finally realize it’s because I’ve simply been setting goals the wrong way! Through Danielle LaPorte’s guidance I’ve learned to use my desires to create goals with soul. I no longer dread the work involved but rather I feel inspired to work towards my goals.
- Cole

“As a Mickel Therapist, a treatment for energy disorders which emphasizes the importance of listening to your emotions and tuning into your intuition, The Desire Map’s way of goal setting fully resonated with me. I love her approach of touching base with our bodies & souls, putting our desired feelings at the very centre of every action and life decision. Personally, I really liked the bit about appreciating what’s already working – it noticeably shifted my focus towards more gratitude. Great choice of book for the start of the year!”
- Nikola

“I knew I needed The Desire Map in my life from the moment I first came across Danielle LaPorte. It just made sense to me. I call Danielle my ‘guru in blue jeans’, she’s both deliciously badass yet reassuringly down-to-earth, with the odd f-word thrown in for good measure. The Desire Map is goal setting for the spiritually aware, modern young woman and it’s made a huge difference in my life. Instead of chasing an endless list of things to do, that inevitably all end up feeling pretty meaningless once I get there, The Desire Map has encouraged me to let my heart take the wheel, and my feelings be my guide. Dive in to The Desire Map, for goodness’ sake.” 

Have you read The Desire Map? Be sure to leave a comment sharing your thoughts on the book. I’d love to hear what your core desired feelings and how you’ve been using them to shape your goals and decisions.

This month we’re reading Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver. Thanks so much to Nikola for suggesting it. I’d never heard of Tosha before and I’m really looking forward to diving into this one.

Bear hugs and bunny kisses,

The Self-Love Book Club is Back (& IN PERSON!)

richmond-magazineReading has played such an important role in my own personal growth and transformation. When there was wisdom I was seeking, when I wasn’t sure where to turn, or what to do next, there was almost always a book to point me in the right direction.

Of course a book alone won’t change your life. We need to turn inwards and tune into what we already know. You can’t learn anything you aren’t ready to hear. But a powerful book can help us look at the world in new ways, offer guidance or encouragement when we’re feeling lost, and reinforce the new beliefs we’re forming.

Self-love is a commitment we make to our relationship with our self. A promise to put ourselves first. A pledge to completely accept who we are, right now, in this present moment. But it doesn’t have to be a solitary journey. By connecting with other people who are on this same adventure and as deeply invested in their own growth as I am, I am led to new insights. My life fills with more joy. And I move along this path of self-love with more ease.

For all of these reasons, I started the Self-Love Book Club. It began as a digital project connecting like-minded women online as we read a book each month, sharing our thoughts, reflecting on how what we’d read pertained to our own lives, and how we wanted to put these new lessons into action.

In August, after one year and 12 books, I put the club on hiatus while I tried to figure out what it’s future would look like. Over the few months while we’ve been dormant, I’ve had continued interest in the group and old and new members of the club have expressed their desire for me to bring it back.

downloadSo, that’s exactly what I’m doing. During the first week of January I’ll be announcing our first book of the new year.

But here’s the really exciting part:

I’m going to be co-hosting an in-person Self-Love Book Club in London with the lovely Nicola. We’ll meet once a month to discuss the book in person alongside the online discussion and monthly recap posts. I love the power of our digital community but I think it’s important to get offline and meet our tribes face to face. To laugh and connect and share cups of tea over deep conversations.

There will be limited places for the in-person book club, so if you’d like to join us, please drop me an email.

If you’re not based in London, never fear. You can always join us on Facebook. And I encourage you to consider becoming a book club leader yourself. For anyone interested, I’ll be sending over a PDF of tips for putting together a book club in your own town and each month I’ll send you over some reflection questions and pointers for facilitating the discussion with your group. Just send me an email to let me know where you’re based and tell me a bit about yourself. Then I’ll together a directory of all the participating clubs, so that you can find out whether there’s one near you.

I’m so excited to get back into the book club and meet some of you for the first time (!!!). In the meantime, let me know: will you be joining us online or in-person? What should we add to the reading list this year?

Hugs and kisses,

Images by Justin Ryan Vaughan.

What I Learned From the Self-Love Book Club

rosie-harder-readerFor 12 months, myself and a small group of women (and one man!) connected online through our shared commitment to self-love, improving our lives, and more fully accepting ourselves.  Each month we read a different book related to self-love (you can find a full list of the books we read and links to the recaps here), sharing our thoughts and lessons learned with one another.

The experience ripped apart so many of my limiting beliefs and reinforced the truths that I held in my heart, while showing me how to bring them into practice in my day-to-day life.

While each book provided its own insights into what self-love means and how we can truly come to adore ourselves, there were also truths that came across again and again. Although they were often expressed differently depending on the particular worldview of the author, these messages came through as almost universal principles. The basic tenets of self-love.

Here they are, as I see them.

Self-love is a form of spirituality.
Last month I read Mastin Kipp’s debut book Daily Love and in it he writes, “Spirituality is a measure of how Loving you are, how unconditionally accepting you are toward yourself and others.” And in one way or another, I think this is what all of the authors we read were saying. All of them experienced some sort of spiritual transformation through their self-love journey – some through religious practice, some through new age mysticism, and others through a deeper communion with their heart and intuition. But ultimately, the practice of self-love is spiritual in and of itself because it’s all about getting in touch with your own unique spirit.

rosie-hardy-one-more-storyLoving ourselves is not selfish.
We can’t truly love others until we learn to love ourselves. Although most of us know this on some level, we still seem to feel guilty if we don’t prioritise the needs of everyone else above our own. Putting ourselves first and committing to self-love is the first step in being of service to the world.

Gratitude is the attitude of self-love.
Self-love happens in the here and now. We can’t hinge our self-love on some future achievement. This is a practice in savouring the present moment and learning to accept ourselves just as we are. When we practice gratitude we cultivate a pervading sense of contentment, we see the beauty that is all around us, we learn the lessons when things don’t go the way we wanted, and we free up space to stop wishing and start making things happen.

Happiness is a choice. Or rather, it’s the product of our choices.
We might think that one small choice – to act out of integrity with our beliefs, to fall out of line with our ambitions, to disregard our intuition  – doesn’t really matter, but each time we make a choice it becomes easier to make that choice again. And those choices add up. They become our habits. We are the product of our choices. They dictate how we feel and how we think. With intention, we can create happiness and a life we love.

Surrender breeds clarity.
We hold on to things so tightly – our hopes, our feels, our relationships with other people – that we can no longer see them clearly. We become confused about who we really are and what we really want. When we learn to let go and surrender the outcome (which we aren’t really in control of anyway), we give ourselves the space for clarity.

rosie-hardie-a-new-chapterWe already have all of the wisdom that we need.
Self-help books, gurus, and workshops have the power to enrich our lives, but they don’t have all the answers. You can’t learn anything until you’re ready to learn it. Self-love tunes us into our inner knowing – the wisdom we already have about who we are and what is best for our unique spirit.

Loving yourself is a radical mode of being.
We aren’t taught how to love ourselves in school. In fact, for most of us growing up means being instilled with the belief that we aren’t good enough and that we need to repress what we really want in order to climb society’s ladder. Loving yourself is a radical act and it has the power to transform your life. But you can’t just say it once and be done with it. Self-love is a lifelong commitment that you must reaffirm everyday through the choices you make, the thoughts you think, and the very way you live your life. But it’s never to late to get started (or start again).

The Self-Love Book Club is currently on hiatus, but I want to hear from you: should we bring it back? How would you most like to participate? Did you like the monthly linkups and Facebook group or would it be easier for you to engage if we held the conversation in the comments of a blog post? Would a Twitter chat be more fun? Do you have an entirely different idea for a format? Is one book a month too much? What books would you most like to read? I’d really appreciate any feedback you have!

Love always,




Photographs by Rosie Hardy.
Sign up for my weekly love letters & receive a free MP3 copy of the introduction to my upcoming ebook, The Daydream Revolution. Download now.
Hello. Add your message here.