The Practice of Core Desired Feelings


I am a huge fan of using Core Desired Feelings to set intentions for the new year rather than resolutions that are doomed to be broken within a month—if that. If you haven’t checked out “The Desire Map” by Danielle Laporte, I highly suggest you do. It’s a game changer.

This year my core desired feelings are: Awake, Vibrant and Courageous.


Awake: This is such a critical one for me that I will be doing a separate post about it soon. I will awaken to my strengths and weaknesses, to my light and my shadow.To what is happening in the world locally, statewide, nationwide and worldwide. No more looking the other way, assuming that I won’t be personally impacted in my own little privileged bubble. I will awaken too what is happening in my body,mind and emotional and energetic bodies at any given moment. I will awaken to what I desire, what I need, what I need to give and what I need to receive. No more walk-in around with my eyes closed, head turned or numbed out to my feeling say what Glennon Doyle Melton calls my “easy buttons.” For me that are wine, sugar, mindless social media, TV, shopping. Awaken to all of who I am, to all of the world has to offer.

Vibrant: Feeling healthy, energetic. Again, not hiding behind my easy buttons. Allowing myself to shine and sparkle and saying no to anything or anyone who tries to dim my brightness.


Image found via Pinterest.

Courage: I love that courage has its root in the word for “heart.” To me, it mean living, acting and moving from the true space of my heart, Speaking up when I need to. Using my voice politically. Writing the truth as I know it, as I experience it. Being uncomfortable or afraid but staying present and taking action anyway—going to new places, making that phone call, having that difficult conversation with someone or myself. It means being what Brené Brown calls “wholehearted.”

I created the image at the top of my core desired feeling to remind me daily of how I want to feel, then every choice I make is filtered through those feelings. I put it as the screen saver on my phone, printed it out and hung it in my office, in my yoga room.

How do you enter the new year? How do you want to feel? Feel free to leave a comment or a link to your post.

Happy New Year!


Image found via Pinterest.

The Art of Dancing with Change.

Dance with Change

Image found on Pinterest.

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~ Alan Watts

So, we are 11 days into the new year. How are those resolutions going?

I’m not being sarcastic, here. I really want to know. Because I get it. Change is hard. Even change that is good for us.

Maybe you’re still resolutely plugging along on your resolutions. Yay! Awesome job!

Maybe, you’ve fallen off the resolution wagon. Yay! Awesome job!

Wait, what? Awesome job for not following through?

Yes! Absolutely!

Because we’re human. It’s gonna happen. We start off flying high into the new year, our brain all blissed out on mood enhancing chemicals like dopamine and serotonin because we are so excited about this change we are going to make. This change that is going to improve our life in some way. Then the rosy glow wears off, our brain returns to normal (think of it as the end of the honeymoon phase) and we skip the workout or eat the cupcake or pour the third glass of wine or whatever it is. We do it. And we feel bad. We think we are lazy or undisciplined or whatever word you use to beat yourself up over just being human.

We feel even worse and before we know it it is February and the gyms are empty or our fridge is stocked with ice cream and we think resolutions are stupid.

But this is the point is where the practice really begins.

January 1 has no magical powers. Every day can be a clean slate. Every day is a chance to begin again. Every moment you can choose differently than the moment before.

It’s like meditation. We expect our mind to wander. That’s what it does.So when it does, the practice is to gently and calmly bring it back to this moment right here. If we have to bring our mind back a thousand times in the course of one sitting, that is awesome. Why? Because that is the practice. That is the process.

Same with making changes in our lives. It’s a process. It’s a practice. We slip, we fall, we stumble, we make a choice that doesn’t jibe with our resolution. And that’s fine.

It’s better than fine. It’s a clean slate.

We begin again from right here, from this moment.

Over and over, we begin again.

It’s our practice.

We dance with change. One step forward, two back, step forward again, twist, twirl. Keep it light. Keep it moving.Fast or slow to just barely swaying standing still.

Just keep dancing.

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” ~ Wayne Dyer


For a New Beginning

by John O’Donohue

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I didn’t exactly jump on the Resolution Bandwagon this year. I dipped my toe in but that’s about it. Now it’s the last day of January and I can’t let the next eleven months slip away without a vision or a plan. But before I can look ahead, I need to briefly look back and acknowledge what I accomplished in 2012:

1. By far, my biggest accomplishment was finishing and submitting my novel. Regardless of the outcome I can now say “I’ve written a novel.” That is huge.

2. I started rewriting my second novel.

3. Started writing an online Book Club column on a local community news website.


4. Read 52 books.

5. Posted book reflections on all 52 books read in 2012.

6. Expanded my platform to include Twitter. (@KimHaasWrites)

7. Filled numerous notebooks with morning pages and writing practice.

8. Set up a submission tracker spreadsheet.

9. Revised several short stories.

10. Made new connections via blogs.

11. Incorporated more photos into my blog posts.

12. Tried to honor the ebb and flow of my creative process. 

So, not a bad year. Now, what do I want in 2013?

1. Publish my novel-in-stories which means find an agent or self-publish.

2. Finish rewrite of new novel.

3. Polish and submit short stories.

4. Blog more consistently.

5. Create/share/sell more art & collage.

6. Attend a writer’s conference or retreat.

7. Work through Priscilla Long’s book, “The Writer’s Portable Mentor.”

8. Create and follow DIY MFA program. 

9. Finish flash fiction collection, “Ripe.”

As I look at my list I see some problems with vagueness. What does “more” mean? For my blog it means add one craft or process post a week in addition to Quotable Tuesday and Five on Friday. It means to post every other Wednesday for my book club column. I need to create a timeline (self-imposed deadlines) for submissions, agent queries and my rewrite. I saw an old list that had me finishing the rewrite this past October and a revision by today. Always looking for that balance between stretching but doable and completely unrealistic.

So, that’s my look back and look ahead. How about you? What did you accomplish in 2012 and what are your aspirations for 2013? is there a way we can support and encourage each other? I’d love to start a submission challenge group. Anybody interested? Let me know in the comments.