Self-Care Challenge (Day 354): Listening to Danielle LaPorte’s Firestarter Sessions

A fire burning in an old wood stove

Several years ago, a friend introduced me to Danielle LaPorte’s work. Her approach to manifesting goals is quite different from the popular SMART goal-setting method that most of us are familiar with. (If you’ve read my book Uppward (Amazon Associate Link), then you already know I’m not a fan of the latter method either.)

Instead of beating our heads against the wall each time we fall short of our unforgiving, SMART goals, LaPorte suggests that we shift our mindset. (Trust me; you’ll be glad you did.)

I had almost forgotten about the Firestarter Sessions (Amazon Associate Link) until another vibrant influencer in my life suggested it. Thankfully, she also suggested the audio version rather than the book. (For those who haven’t yet had a chance to hear Danielle LaPorte’s voice, it will seriously lull you into a trance.) Check out her free workbook for a little taste of what it’s all about.

Yesterday’s self-care activity involved carving out some time to knit while I listened to the Firestarter Sessions. I’ve learned that when I listen while I’m also working with my hands, I absorb messages differently. I hear more of the emotions behind the stories rather than simply the meaning behind the words.

LaPorte’s inspiring words poured over me as I moved the yarn across my needles, mentally preparing myself for the new year.

How do I want to feel? Hmm.

It had been a long time since I’d asked myself that question.

My focus this year has been on self-care: my health, my well-being, my ability to live up to my fullest potential. I wholeheartedly believe that if we truly want to live our purpose, we must be whole. And good health is our greatest asset when it comes to being capable of achieving our goals.

But in my pursuit, I often find that I take the positive energy out of my goals. I set them as if I’m pouring concrete, believing that success is firmly defined by a single outcome: a digit, a number, an amount. Anything less is failure. Sure, we can say that failure is an opportunity for learning. (And it is.) But it hardly ever feels that way. (It feels more like a slap in the face…a lot of effort for a tad bit of learning.)

“What we cannot measure, we cannot improve,” you say?

Well, maybe not.


According to LaPorte, the pursuit of our goals can also bring us joy–if we are clear on what we truly desire, that is. Success is a feeling. (I must say, this is particularly appealing to the “F” of my INFJ personality type.)

Because isn’t what we’re really after a feeling? Confidence. Love. Joy. Connection. Power. Peace. Health. Contribution. (The great thing about feelings is that we get to define them any way we want to.)

Indeed, I can feel the fire rekindling.


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