For any of you who are wondering why you’re getting emails about this Desire Map thing-y when you signed up for an Unschooling conference, I wanted to share some specifics of how I’ve found The Desire Map to be a perfect tool to accompany Unschooling.
It also happens to be a great tool for navigating ANY area of life – and since living IS learning, any tools we find that make LIFE EASIER will make LEARNING EASIER!
We are drawn to Unschooling because we think that following this lifestyle will give us certain feelings. (Maybe you’re seeking the feeling of freedom, or peace in the home, or feeling more connected to your kids, or . . . YOU fill in the blank – there is NO wrong answer!)
The Desire Map can help us identify the core feelings we are seeking by choosing this lifestyle, and it shows us how to use those feelings to uncover the next logical steps on our Unschooling journeys.
Unschooing CANNOT happen successfully without a SUBSTANTIAL amount of Deschooling on the part of parents. We have SO MUCH programming to undo from a LIFETIME of living in a culture that highly values the school centric model of education. Not just 12 years of school programming, but MANY decades of cultural programming that runs DEEP.
Our culture takes for granted that education and learning happen a certain way and have to follow certain structures. We collectively believe that academic subjects are more valuable than “non-academic” subjects, and that knowledge must be divided up into these “digestible” subjects for learning to even be possible!
I could go on and on with the cultural beliefs that Unschooling challenges, but I think we can all agree there are MANY. Most of us need help with this process of Deschooling and of clarifying the steps that are best for our family to take to move toward Unschooling – since for most of us this it is uncharted territory!
Humans are in the habit (both consciously and subconsciously) of following the default cultural norms and ideas. When we begin to let go of these beliefs that are so ingrained in our culture (and in us!) we can feel a little lost – floating out in a sea of endless possibilities which can be freeing, but also very overwhelming and frightening.
We can talk to other families or read about others’ Deschooling and Unschooling experiences and that can DEFINITELY be helpful, but invariably our lives and our children will present unique challenges.
Rather than relying on “external” answers from others or clinging to yet another educational or parenting “dogma,” I’ve found that turning inward (and helping our kids do the same) is a MUCH more effective and efficient approach to creating the life we envision.
The Desire Map facilitates this process of turning inward.
It helps us dig deep to uncover the core desired feelings that we are hoping Unschooling will give us. It helps us figure out how to USE our core desired feelings to guide our daily plans, to-do lists and actions.
And the good news is that when we let our feelings guide our daily actions, we actually accomplish our REAL goals (those feelings) RIGHT AWAY! We don’t have to wait until we are “full fledged Unschoolers” or “perfect” parents to feel the way we want to feel. We can feel that way NOW – even if it’s just in small, fleeting moments at first – we achieve “success” WAY before the grand goal is achieved. And we can build on those small successes to feel the way we WANT to feel more and more and more often as the days go by.
As we use this process we find that we have to look outside of ourselves less and less for advice and guidance. We HAVE the guidance we need – inside each one of us – and we can access it at any time in the form or our feelings. When issues come up with Unschooling or parenting or anything else in life, we have a tool to figure out the next steps that are RIGHT for ourselves and our families.
How do our kids benefit?
Well aside from just the general benefits of Unschooling and a more peaceful home, our kids learn from our example. As we learn to access the inner guidance of our feelings, and begin to use them more and more to make decisions, our kids see us and learn how to do this as well.
(That is IF they even NEED to re-learn it – we are ALL born knowing how to do this, but it is trained out of most of us – and many of our kids need MUCH less help getting back to doing things this way).
As we learn to trust ourselves, it becomes easier and easier to trust our kids to guide their own lives and educations – even when the path they choose does not conform to societal and educational norms, timelines and expectations.
Now The Desire Map is certainly NOT the ONLY method of learning to access and use this inner guidance.
I’ve spent the last 14 years figuring out this process for myself to create the life and the feelings I desire. It CAN be done in many different ways by following many different processes. (Believe me! I’ve studied and pieced together MANY different philosophies to accomplish this!) 😉 But with The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte has created a nurturing and self-affirming process to peel back the layers of our desires and uncover what it is at our core that drives us. Then she helps us use these discoveries to guide our daily actions and ultimately accomplish our long term goals.
And once we’ve learned this Desire Map process, we can use it over and over as time goes on, as our desires grow and develop and as our family’s needs change.
So whether your goal is Unschooling or something else entirely, Desire Map can help us ALL dig down past our cultural conditioning of how “THEY” say we SHOULD be living, and find our core desired feelings that are telling us how to find a more authentic and enjoyable life – unique to each one of us!
If you’re interested in learning more about Radiant Living with The Desire Map, you can join our Facebook group for inspiration, to hear about my Desire Mapping process and to hear about upcoming Radiant Living with The Desire Map offerings.
I am planning in-person and virtual Desire Map workshops this spring and summer. If you’re more of a “self-study” kind of person you can get the book and begin “Mapping” yourself now!
We would love to hear about your experiences with The Desire Map in the Facebook group. It can be like a virtual Desire Map book club.
Ask questions. Share your doubts and skepticism. Share your joys. Whatever feels good to share – share it!
I’m looking forward to what unfolds for all of us that decide to dive into this process! If you’re drawn to The Desire Map at all, check it out here and let me know what you think! (email me HERE or message me on Facebook HERE.)
Heaps of Love,