This past August, I went to the Oregon Eclipse Music Festival. It was never my intention to end up at this music festival. The original plan was to watch the eclipse from a relaxing cabin with wifi for me to get work done and a kitchen where I could prepare foods I actually wanted to eat. But a week before the total eclipse, my plans were foiled by a forest fire. Instead of a cabin, I found myself toting a tent on the way to the Oregon Eclipse Music Festival. Instead of an cozy weekend with my husband, I was on my way to mingle with 30,000, half-naked strangers. Instead of a kitchen, refrigerator and stove, I had cooler full of raw meat and no idea how exactly I would cook it at this campsite.

Needless to say, upon realizing what I was getting myself into, my anxiety soared.

I was overwhelmed about everything I needed to get done. Without wifi or cell service, I had to get all my work done ahead of time.

I had social anxiety about coming into a group of people who already had established relationships.

I was dreading the discomfort of camping sans amenities.

In addition to all of this, I must add, I am obsessed with costumes.

The camp we were going to had themed costume nights. I couldn’t stand the thought of attending, as an outsider, and not participating. And at the same time, I wouldn’t stand the thought of participating with a half-assed costumes. But there simply wasn’t time to prepare in a stress-free manner. (And if you know anything about me, you know I aim so stay stress free.)

So there I was—driving—freaking out about all of the above, when it dawned on me…

This music festival had two of my three core desired feelings, so I really shouldn’t have been all that worked up about it.

In case you’re not familiar with Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map, core desired feelings (CDFs) are three to five feelings that encompass how you feel when you’re being the version of yourself. When you know what those core desired feelings are, you can use them to intentionally design a life where you get to spend more time feeling the way you want to feel.

Because emotions and eating are intricately related, I use the Desire Map as part of the process of getting my clients from where they are to where they want and/or need to be with food and their bodies.

So, back to the music festival...

My core desired feelings are connected, turned on, and ease.

Clearly, a music festival brings people together, so I could check that CDF box. When I say, “turned on,” is one of my CDFs, I don’t necessarily mean sexually— it can also mean creatively, energetically, and expressively turned on. So I could also check that CDF box.

The music festival should have theoretically been something that made me feel the way I want to feel. But it was missing a huge core component:

Ease.

It didn’t feel easy to sleep and prepare my food outside. It didn’t feel easy to integrate with this community I had no relationship with. It didn’t feel easy to design half a dozen costumes in just a couple of days.

Just knowing this was the case, gave me the power to choose to think differently about it. I got to ask myself, how can I bring ease into the situation?

I asked myself:

What can I cut out?

Where can I delegate?

What can I schedule for myself?

Essentially, I lightened load by removing non-essential to-do’s from my list and delegating that which could be delegated. I alleviated my concern that things might not get done, by putting them on my schedule so I could know when they were getting done.

I created ease.

And, I chose to reframe the situation as an exciting adventure, rather than just a burden.

In a previous life, I would never have known this internal emotional process was even going on. I would have been freaking out because my need for ease wasn’t being met, but I wouldn’t have been able to identify it as that. So rather than seeking ease, I would have sought comfort in the form of donuts, pizza, chips and breadsticks.

Eating my way to comfort was the only way I knew how to care for myself back then. And I did HAVE to care for myself, otherwise I would have gone nuts. (This is why I never chastise my clients for overeating or emotional eating. It is, in fact, a form of self-care.)

My Oregon Eclipse Music Festival adventure went off without a hitch and it served as a powerful reminder of how much more choice we get when we understand what’s going on internally.

I invite you to join us for a conversation about core desired feelings over in my Facebook group this week.