Desire Mapping Workshop with Courtney Sinclair


On Sunday I spent an incredible day with 7 other wonderful women doing something called Desire Mapping. Let me tell you. It made me realize some things – HARD.

La Grange B&B - Desire Map Workshop

If you’ve never heard of Desire Mapping, you need to get on the interwebs and google this shit. The workshop is based on the book The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. The concept taught in this book is that in life, contrary to what we’ve always been told, you aren’t actually chasing goals. You are in fact, chasing the feeling that achieving your goal will bring you. So in order to feel truly fulfilled and successful, you must first define how you want to feel and make your decisions based around that. Nothing hokey, overly spiritual or weird. The basic idea is that you simply work towards setting your life up in such a way that it’s not just about the destination, but the journey as well. The pursuit of your goal should feel just as good as attaining it.



I know, right?

When I really sit and think about it, it seems pretty obvious. How many times have we all heard some variation of the phrase “Life should be about the journey as much as the destination”? I think as humans at our core, we get this concept. We already know it’s about the feeling. But our world it set up in such a way that we become so easily distracted. We let others influence how we feel, what we think, what we need and what we should do with our lives. Everyone from the media to our parents to friends, to acquaintances on Facebook. It derails so many of us, myself included. We get so caught up in the things we think we should be doing and achieving and we start forgetting what we want. What we need. And we lose touch with how we really want to feel.

The workshop I attended took place at the gorgeous La Grange B&B in beautiful Wakefield, Quebec. As we sat in a beautiful third floor yoga studio surrounded be nature, we started taking turns going around the circle, introducing ourselves. As each woman spoke, I think most of us drew some parallels in their words with our own lives and experiences. The similarities between myself and the other women surprised me. Nearly everyone fought back tears as they recounted painful memories, reasons they are struggling and all of the successes and joys that keep them going day to day. It was a very moving thing to witness. It was then that I realized that perhaps I am not alone in my own struggles and sensitivities. That was huge for me. I think many of us navigate this world surrounded by people but feel really alone a lot of the time. But we’re not alone. We’re really not.

As the day progressed we began to dig a bit deeper into the course material and discussed gratitude, as well as some of the ways that our current life and circumstances are working for us, and how they aren’t. What this ends up boiling down to after several hours of deep discussion, meditation and self-reflection via the Desire Map Workbook, is the determining of your 3-5 Core Desired Feelings. The Core Desired Feelings are unique to each individual and they are the feelings that you are and should be purposefully chasing in life. Mine are:

My Core Desired Feelings


As I started writing these things out throughout our exercises, I began to notice that these 5 things seemed to be the common thread through every area of my life. In my case, these words don’t necessarily mean what they mean in their literal sense. For example, Freedom doesn’t mean I’m going to ditch my life and move to Australia without a care in the world. For me in this sense, Freedom means freedom from anxiety, depression, financial freedom , freedom in my career, creative freedom, freedom to travel and freedom of spirit. Infinite for me means abundance in all things. I want to have infinite energy, patience, health, wealth, happiness, love, sympathy and curiosity.

Now that I have identified my Core Desired Feelings, the idea is to keep them in my mind when making decisions going forward. It will be interesting to see how things unfold. The best part is, they are never set in stone. As life changes, as my own needs change, as I age, I may find that certain core desired feelings no longer resonate with me. At that time, I can re-assess and re-focus on how I want to feel.

Our facilitator for this course was Courtney Sinclair (say hello to her via Facebook or her website!). If you have the opportunity to meet her and take one of her Desire Map Workshops – you totally should. Courtney truly believes in the Desire Mapping process with her whole heart and that totally came through in her words and actions. During the workshop she created an environment where I felt completely relaxed, supported and free from judgement. Exactly how I’d hoped to feel when discussing such life-changing stuff!

Courtney Sinclair - Desire Map Facilitator

A few more photos from our day:

Desire Map workshop


Thuper Things Thursday #1

Today is the first of hopefully many instalments of Thuper Things Thursday. In this series I’m just going to share things that I am loving right now. Why? Because it’s my blog and I can do what I want. And in case you were curious about how I came up with this brilliant name I’d like to indicate that I do not have a speech impediment. It just sounded better than Super Sings Sursday.

1. This song. Because it’s super thuper fun and the video is adorable. That last couple…RIGHT IN THE FEELS. So sweet.

2. Young Living Essential Oils. Ya, I guess I’ve become one of those people. To be perfectly honest, I’ve always been skeptical of natural remedies and the like. Those who know me know that I wouldn’t intentionally blow smoke so if I’m saying that they are awesome, it means I really do think they are awesome. Diffusing natural, uplifting scents in my house puts me in a great mood and my entire family benefits from that 😉 I’ve also been applying them to my skin for their calming effects and for helping to keep my hormones balanced. Anyway, I’m so not into selling things or trying to convince anyone to buy products from me. But if you are ever curious and want to sign up to buy some yourself, definitely shoot me an email at daniellebernier @ gmail. com (without the spaces) and I’ll share with you what I know!

Essential oil all the things



3. MZ Wallace handbags. Now granted, I’m far too poor to buy one brand new, but the thrill of the hunt in tracking them down on the used market is way too much fun. I was recently able to pick up a ‘Paige’ in black and ‘Hayley’ in tweed for a fraction of what they cost new. Now if I could just find a way to get paid to do this I’d be all set. *sad trombone*



Last but not least:

4. My face in a hole made especially for my face.

face in hole


Have a thuper thursday, friends.

Juicy, Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

While treadmilling at the gym one day, my friend Julie and I ended up in a conversation about the aspects of our jobs that we find challenging or don’t particularly love. Julie, owner of a personal chef service in Ottawa, said that one challenge for her is being able to plate, style and photograph her food in such a way that really showed it off. The challenge that I admitted to having was that I had tough time finding the time and energy to plan and cook meals for this blog as often as I want to. Especially during the winter months when there are only so many hours of available daylight!

Then it happened. We had a light bulb moment. We are the answer to each other’s problems!

Shortly after that conversation we decided to get together and collaborate. Being that we only live a few minutes from each other, Julie would do most of the prep work at home, bring it over to my place and I’d set the studio up to photograph it all. We decided on three items – A soup, a salad and some seriously incredible (and easy!) lamb shanks, all of which I will be posting as part of the three part series in the coming days. These recipes are all courtesy of Julie and if you are ever looking to hire a personal chef service and live in the City of Ottawa, she’s your woman! Check her out at

In the mean time, feast your eyes on this!

Juicy (and easy!) Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

Juicy, Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

– 2-3 lamb shanks

– 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil

– 1 sweet onion, diced

– 1-2 garlic cloves minced, to taste

– 350ml red wine (I used pinot noir)

– 500-750ml mushroom, beef or lamb stock or broth

– 1 tbsp easy blend flour or other thickener

Ingredients - Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks



1. Brown lamb shanks in oil. I use coconut because its higher smoke temperature allows for deeper browning. Place browned shanks into a slow cooker.

2. Add diced onion to the same pan and brown. Add garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds or so, then add the wine, then the broth. Allow liquid to simmer and reduce for 5-10 minutes, then pour into the crock with the shanks. Add more broth to almost cover, if necessary.

3. Set the slow cooker for 8-10 hours.

4. Carefully remove lamb shanks from the slow cooker with tongs and set aside – they might fall apart but they will still taste great. Strain broth into a saucepan and thicken it for a sauce.

Serve with your choice of vegetables.

Juicy, Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks by A Soulful Appetite