Thoughts on Shedding an Identity and Suicide

When you shed an identity, release an old story, there is a period of time when you haven’t quite grown into a new one.

You’ve got glimpses. Ideas, maybe. But all of them are informed by the old landscape; a little too wrapped up in what you used to know, who you used to be. None are fully aligned. None are as satisfying as you’d like them to be.

And yet, you can’t go back.

Nothing is left for you in the place from which you’ve come.

And so you must sit, in this alchemical place – a mixture of death and longing.

This. 

This is the place where we humans least like to be.

It is a place of extreme discomfort. Ripe for indulgence in skin-deep pleasures: instantly gratifying, but fake. It is the place where we turn to behaviours of numbing out – to busyness, to addiction, to avoidance – whatever flavour our escape.

And yet, escape is even less satisfying.

We wake, the stench of death filling our nostrils; the discomfort of our longing, intensified by shame and the loneliness of self-imposed hiding; and still no clear way to satisfy our hearts.

These are the spaces – the experiences of being human – we most like to pretend do not exist.

We would rather if darkness were not.

And so, we deny its natural existence in the cycles of our lives. We deny the small deaths of living with such viscosity, that, eventually, the backed-up-swell of darkness turns into a raging storm that can no longer be kept at bay.

Fed by denial and shame, its power becomes so great that our faith in life itself starts to waver. 

We find ourselves exhausted and longing for relief. We begin to believe the best way forward might be to simply give up on the light altogether, and to release ourselves into a greater unknown. 

I have been in this place of darkness.

I have never seriously contemplated taking action to end my own life, but I know what it is like to waver in the faith to go on.

What I have learned from my own journey is it is not by avoidance of the darkness that we find a way to move forward into the new story that is waiting.

It is by allowing what is to be.

It is by being fully in the discomfort and the pain of the small deaths that life brings us.

It is by lighting a candle and raising the flame so our friends know where to find us.

It is by allowing the pain to be real without shaming ourselves for the experience.

It is only if we let death come, that it will go. This I know.

Small deaths will come and go, if we let them.

The sun will rise again.

So keep a candle and a match by your bedside, for those nights when death comes to visit.

And when darkness closes in, strike your match and raise your flame high in the air. Help will come. It will not be a quick-fix, instantly-feel-better kind of help. It will be the kind of help that heals by allowing what naturally is. It will lend an ear, a hug, a prayer, a laugh, a hand. It will not judge. It will be love so big there will be room for death within it. 

In that safe space, death will come, and it will go. The sun will rise again. 

May we each receive and be that kind of love. May we show up for each other no matter how dimly the light may flicker.

We will all have times in our life when we don’t know how to write the next chapter.

Its okay. Take off the covers. Strike the match. Let in the love.

A new story is coming.

xo,

Danielle

R.I.P. Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and every one who has found themselves in darkness, without a match, and without the faith needed to write the next chapter of their story.

Burning Bridges: A Personal Post on Self-Sabotage, Healing and Transition

Last year, about this time, I spoke words that destroyed the two closest female relationships I had.

I loved these ladies like sisters. I knew that if I said "the thing" (which at the time was deeply true for me) it would break the heart of one, and therefore the other, and therefore mine as well, and that our friendships - our sisterhood - may never recover. 

I said the thing anyways. 

I still don't know if it was the 'right' thing to do. Some people would say it was courageous and inspiring. Some people would say it clearly wasn't. Some would say it was selfish and reckless, and even cruel. People have said all of these things. I myself have doubted the decision I made several times over the past year, as my friendships with these women quickly crumbled. 

I was left with a gaping aching void, where sisters had been, and I couldn't help but wonder - why did I say the thing? 

The funny (heartbreaking) thing is that it wasn't about 'the thing'. I can't justify the pain that ensued by saying that the thing was vital to my survival or physical well-being in any visible or tangible way. I have no way to rationalize why I did it, other than I felt like I was being squeezed into a smaller and smaller box by holding it in. It was true in my soul. And in that sense it was vital in a way I could not ignore. I couldn't let it go without saying it.

A few months ago, a mentor of mine (who has been there for me through many of my soul's stories), in a kind, joking way, made a comment about my "burning bridges". 

It hit a place of pain deep inside me. 

Is this what I am doing with my 'truth'? Burning bridges?

I wonder this sometimes. Are my soul revelations simply the "safe" way that I have learned to do endings? Do I set fire to the bridge from high above on newly formed wings - only to inevitably fall into searing flames of my own fire as the other person runs away, the bridge collapses, and I am consumed by the raging waters below? To be honest, that is how it has felt, at times. Sure, it is a painful way to transition, but at least I can say it wasn't me who did the leaving. 

This possibility has crossed my mind many times in the past in a judgmental accusatory way. I have used it to beat myself up. But what I haven't been willing to do is to invite it in, and take a look with compassion and curiosity. 

I am doing that now. 

I am sitting with this possibility in an honest and kind-to-myself way. It is humbling to be with this part of my humanity. The part that wants to destroy and to kill. 

As I sit with it, I begin to hear her: hissing and snarling in the deepest corners of my heart; wild, like a wounded animal. Ready to slice through anything (or anyone) that finds its way in. 

She frightens me, but I realize I love her. I instantly want to mother her.

One day soon I will get to hold her, and to tend to her wounds. For now I am grateful I have found her. She has let me see her. I know where she lives. 

I have faith that in time, and with love, my dragon heart will find ways to stop crossing a bridge that no longer aligns with my soul, without incinerating it. I can see that I have already learned to do this in many areas of my life that are less intimate.

This willingness to be human - this tending to my own wounds - is an integral part of what it means to live the story of my soul. 

I don't expect an answer will arrive about the 'rightness' or 'wrongness' of any particular thing I have said or done in the past. I don't think that is what this is about. I suspect my truth has been, and always will be, a combination of pure soul, and human limitations, beliefs and wounding. Life is not meant to be about separating out (or eliminating one of) these things.  

What it is about is cultivating the courage and compassion to allow ourselves to be both. 

It is about being willing to have the faith to speak our truth when we need to, and being willing to be transformed by the heartbreak of losing our sisters, our brothers, our lovers, and our dreams. 

It is about finding ways to surrender to the consequences of our choices; to accept the inevitable loss and rejection that will come alongside the love and the celebration; and to, day by day, become a kinder, more honest, and more fiercely loving, version of ourselves in the process. 

A true soul, story.

xo, 

Danielle

Breaking Through: A Poem For Embracing The Season

I am breaking through the blocks of hard crusted ground. 
I am breaking through the doubt that kept me tightly bound.

I am breaking through this shell, 
sprouting this new form. 
I am breaking through the frozen, 
to play beyond the storm. 

I am breaking through the frame I had allowed my fears to set.
I am breaking through the cold and lonely winter they beget. 

I am breaking through the lies, 
that have kept me playing small.
The grandiose declarations, 
and inevitable falls. 

I am breaking through the dusty judgments of my mind. 
I am deepening my roots and reaching for the sky.

I am breaking through the barriers they never thought I would.
I am playing a game bigger than I know they think I should. 

I am opening my mouth.
I am using my full voice.
I am shouting now, true and clear.
I am accessible by choice.

I am breaking through this comfort into an unknown world.
I am standing firm for love, however it unfurls. 

I am here now, before the rubble as it burns.

I turn my back, drop my last match,
and with a laugh, of utter childlike glee,
I break through this old story,
into a softer, fiercer, me.

xo,

Danielle

Danielle RondeauComment
Thoughts on Control, Teetering and Almost-Spring

I am twirling. Whirling. Eyes closed. Arms outstretched. Faster, and faster. The new grass tickling my bare soles.

I am laughing. Involuntarily. Giggles bubbling up my throat like a warm bubble bath. Overflowing. Spilling over onto everything around me.

I am teetering. Out of control. My eyes peek open. Earth and sky warp into each other odd angles. I feel the ground come up to meet me.

I am disoriented. Nauseous. The Earth is damp to the touch. I let out a sigh as I pick myself up. Wet and shivering. Bubbles replaced by fog.

It is still not quite spring.

I keep encountering this part of me that thinks I should know “how”. A part of me that loves to live in the illusion that I have it all figured out. A part of me that wants to play the right cards, at just the right time; to get where I want to go without the messiness of the seasons.

But try as I might to close my eyes early spring and apply the right amount of twirling, I cannot open them into summer.

Nature does not hurry because we are uncomfortable with its process.

There is a delicate balance to be held at this time of year between releasing the old, dreaming the new – and being patient with the process of its arrival.

The seeds you hold in your heart at this time may not bear any resemblance to the beautiful flowers and towering trees they will become.

And so we must trust. We must expand our understanding of “how”, to incorporate the mystery of nature. We must lean into the teetering. We must allow ourselves to be disoriented for a time. We must be with the nausea of not knowing.

There is frustration in this season of not-yet-arriving. And there is anticipation too. Both of these are great sources of energy.  Do not throw your energy away by launching full-speed towards blooming, when your bulbs are not yet fully rooted, nor sprouted above the cool ground under which they are just beginning to stir from their slumber.

Plant your seeds with love, and pause.

Surrender.

Be with the uncomfortable alchemical process of nature.  

Allow your energy reserves to expand, fill and bubble up to near bursting with the buzz of your anticipation. You will be grateful you held on to your passion when the time for spring birthing and nurturing, and summer blooming and dancing arrives.

The time for you to step out into the world and create the new dreams you are holding in your heart will come. It always does.

And when it does, you will be asked to show up – full-force – in ways you are unsure you are ready to show up. But you will show up. And you will be ready.

It is these in between times that will prepare you.

The alchemical process of nature is working in you right now too.

This discomfort is your transformation. Your tentative messy beginning.  Your winter roots are ready to support your new creations and you are beginning to sprout your ideas through the foggy darkness towards the yet unseen sun lit skies ahead.  

You might hit a few rocks along the way and need to navigate the darkness around them. Some of your seeds may never make out into the sunny summer days.

You cannot control this birthing process.

You plant the seeds of your dreams. You tend to the soil of your life with love. You keep your heart open with a promise of tending to your soul’s desires with everything you have the moment they poke their heads into the light. 

In the mean time you wait. You don't get to control this process. The miracle of nature gets to say, which of your dreams are ready to make it into the light of day. 

Do not lose faith. Do not turn away.

This teetering point is uncomfortable, but is necessary. It natural.

It is. The only way.

These are my sweet pea seeds, by the way.

I have planted them along with all of my other dreams – the island home, the love story, my next book, and a platform to share my vision for a more beautiful world. My heart is open to showing up fully to those that are ready to break through the darkness, into the light of this springtime with me.

xo,

Danielle

Danielle RondeauComment
Thoughts on Inclusion, Safety and Space

What does it mean to hold an inclusive, safe, space?

Recent events in my life have invited me to consider deeply this question.

I facilitate a weekly group called Write Your Soul Story. It is meant to be a safe, inclusive, space, where humans can meet to explore, through writing, and being witnessed by one another, the life their soul is inviting them to live.

The internal excavation this requires inevitably brings up the belief systems that each participant lives within, including any judgements, ignorance, prejudices and fears. Beliefs can vary widely, even among a relatively small group of people, to the extent that the belief of one person may challenge the value, or worth of the very existence of another.

If I allow into my group, the expression, or even the holding, of views that say a certain group of people, or certain life forms, are wrong, bad, or do not deserve to exist and thrive, at all, or as much as others, is this not harmful to those groups and life forms? And is my allowance of those who hold extreme views into the space, not itself endorsement of those views, or at least acquiescence, without care of the harm they may cause to others?

But if I, on the other hand, refuse to tolerate extreme views and expel those people who hold them from the space, surely this is not only harmful to the people that hold the views – for exclusion is a form of violence that can cut deeper than any knife – but is my act of exclusion not also likely to cause both sides to become more entrenched and extreme in their views, more justified in their separation, more intensified in their hatred or fear towards each other, and more likely to cause each other harm? Is my refusal to allow extreme views not endorsement of the exclusion of the extremes of humanity, which is itself an act of violence towards life?

I would answer yes to all of those questions.

So, what do I do? Is it possible to expand enough to hold a space that doesn’t require me to make someone wrong, or to label a person unsafe because of the beliefs they hold, yet still create a space that fosters healing for all, and at the very least, does not foster harm?

I think the answer to this question is also yes, but it asks something astronomically challenging of me: it asks me to do the work first.

Any space I create for others can only be as inclusive and safe as the space I am able to hold within myself.  And my capacity to love in this way – unconditionally – is limited by my own experiences and background. Whatever prejudices I hold, whatever ignorance, judgments and fears I possess – I bring these with me wherever I go.

There is a principle of life that says if I were you, with your ancestry and experiences, I would believe and behave exactly as you have, and do. And in reverse, you would believe and behave the same as I, too. All of my experiences in life thus far, give truth to this principle of wholeness.

Whatever parts of my own humanity I refuse to acknowledge or accept, and whatever parts of humanity I have not yet been exposed to – and therefore do not yet accept – could never feel truly invited to show up in any space I create. I cannot allow in you, what I have not allowed in me.

And so, given we (myself included) all have certain traumas and experiences, and carry the traumas and experiences of our ancestors in the very cells that make us up, how can any of us create a truly safe and inclusive space for all life?

This is the question I have been sitting with. And in sitting with this question, another arose – a deeper, more philosophical question – and that is this: even if it is possible, why should we try? Is a safe, inclusive space for all something worthy of striving for? 

This question – why – always arises when I sit with any life challenge for long enough. Why, always gets right at the heart of the thing humans have struggled with for centuries – why, do anything? What is the point of life? What is valuable? What matters? What is worth standing for?

I don’t know that I have fully sorted out for myself an answer to this question, and I don’t know that I ever will. I do know that what emerges for me when I grapple with this question for long enough is something expansive, and ironically, unknowable. It is standing for the mystery of the natural way things work.

Sometimes I call this mystery Truth – a deep knowingness that is large enough to hold all paradoxes, stories and versions of truth. Sometimes I call this mystery Wholeness, or Life, in a sense encompassing enough to hold the natural cycles of life and death, and everything in between. Sometimes I call this mystery Nature, and the inherent Justice that simply is in the existence of things.

I do recognize the luxury that I am blessed with to have the space and mental capacity to consider these issues at a philosophical level. There are many people who find themselves on the front lines of life and death every day, fighting for their own safety and inclusion in a very real way. I am not in that situation. I am not faced with life and death situations every day. I do not walk in fear of having my existence challenged simply by walking down the street. I am however a deeply creative, soulful, woman living in a male dominated, industrialized, capitalist world, and in that capacity have experienced exclusion and devaluation of my existence, every day since I was born.  

I have some frame of reference for the soul violence that occurs when we are not valued for simply being who we are. And because I have both this frame of reference, and a certain amount of peace and space and safety, I consider it is my obligation to not only think about these questions, but to call upon my courage, to raise awareness of their importance, and to attempt, as best I can, to bring the answers I discover into my life in ordinary, everyday ways.

For what is the value of philosophy, if we do not live by it?

And so, what does it mean, then, for me to stand for the Wholeness of Life, in the creation and holding of a space for my little writing group?

I do not yet have a complete answer to this question. I do know that it requires me to take responsibility for my own healing, to take a look inwards and call out the ignorance, prejudices, judgments and fears I have within me, that are preventing me from addressing the challenge in front of me from a place of love.

I am in process with this.

I have acknowledged my own ignorance and taken it upon myself to learn about all sides of the issues that have arisen, and am in process of examining my own beliefs, in light of the information I am taking in, for fears and judgments and prejudices so these can be brought into the light, allowed, understood and released.   

I have also taken some practical steps – I have created guidelines for participation which require confidentiality and respect, including, approaching what is shared by others with curiosity rather than judgment, and obtaining consent before providing coaching, advice or feedback. I have also asked participants to agree to be responsible for their own needs being met, including their need for safety. This may at times require that they take some space from the group, or raise an issue with me that I might have, because of my own ignorance or prejudices or fears, overlooked.

While these steps do not eliminate the potential for participants being exposed to beliefs that for them raise concerns of safety, it does prevent the views of any one from being imposed upon any one else. It also prevents any one person from being considered right – and any other wrong. And, most importantly, it offers a container in which each can be exposed to views opposing of their own. In this manner the ignorance that fosters separation is decreased and each person must witness and feel the impact of their views upon other real humans sitting right in front of them. This is something that has been lost in our highly individualized, self-reliant culture, where we are not required to live with and rely upon others in closely knit community.

It is my belief that spaces that expose us to the opposing beliefs of others are highly needed, and that, this slow, tender seeing and remembering of one another, can and will create the readiness and willingness in each of us to take a look inwards, and discover some of the fears and judgments and prejudices that live there, so that these can be brought into the light, allowed, understood and released.

This is the kind of expansion a soul journey will always require. A never-ending humbling and deeply satisfying journey towards unconditional love, unconditional trust in the soul of Humanity, and unending faith in the Justice inherent in all Life.

This is what I am standing for in my little every day corner of the world.

It will be messy, I know, but I believe, we can do it, together.

xo,

Danielle

Danielle RondeauComment
A Personal Post on Commitment.

This is a personal post. I haven’t written one of these in a while. A long while.

But it is time. I know it is time. I have been avoiding vulnerability. I have been avoiding sharing my writing. It has been a few months since I have written a piece that I felt called to share with the world. 

The last few weeks I have felt this one building. I have been both terrified of and longing for its arrival. Tonight I sat down and it all came out. Each word nourishing. This is how I know. It is time.

So here it is: A personal post about commitment. And letting go. And justice.

2017 was year of all of these things for me. 

At the beginning of the year I declared 2017 to be about mastery and love: deep devotion and commitment to the people and things that matter to me. The declaration was one that came from the deepest part of me: the peaceful alignment of my soul, and the powerful ache – the longing – in my heart.

It was, and is still, true. I so want to master the crafts I am learning – writing, advocacy, facilitation and speaking. And I so want to enjoy deep intimate relationship with women I consider sisters, and to fall in love and build a home and a family with a man who sees me, loves me, and understands my soul.

None of these things ‘happened’ in 2017. At least not in the way that I imagined.

I do believe they are ‘happening’ though. On a spiritual level, I trust.

I am gaining skills and confidence in my legal work. I am showing up more consistently. I am becoming someone who can be relied upon; someone who can be trusted to show up and take pride in my work; someone who has decided to stay.

There are now a number of things in my life I will show up to every week come rain or shine – my legal work, my writing workshop, my health and my home. Knowing this feels good.

Learning that I can trust myself to stay feels good. Rewriting the story of who I have for so long believed myself to be – someone who leaves – feels good. I am no longer that person. I do not feel trapped. Running away no longer appeals to me. I can trust myself to choose something and to stay. Yes. That does feel so good.

I can feel in me the budding of a true leader. Someone who can show up for others and be of service without needing it to be about myself in some way. My capacities to hold space, to assert my opinion and to have boundaries are all expanding. I am becoming the powerful woman I have somewhere deep down always known I was and could be. 

It hasn’t ‘happened’ yet, but it is ‘happening’. I can feel it.

There are also people I would move mountains to show up for if they were in need, at any time. Family. And people I hold in my heart like family. People I respect and trust enough – and who respect and trust me enough – that we can be honest and true in our opinions and in expressing what we want.

I am getting better at saying ‘yes’ without resentment and ‘no’ without guilt. This. Feels. So. Good. 

This has been a large part of what the last year has been about. Honesty and freedom in relationship. It has at times been messy. To be honest, many of my intimate relationships had been harbouring landmines of suppressed truth. In 2017, with varying degrees of grace, I set them all off.

To the people in my life who have remained close to me through my sometimes harsh and painful honesty, thank you. I know I have pushed the limits of my relationships in this realm.

To those I have hurt because I did not have the courage to be honest earlier, I am truly sorry. I am learning.

And this – this is where Justice comes in. A visceral karmic learning.

I am learning it never pays to suppress the thing that is true, even – especially – when my truth means the relationship will be required to transform, or to end.

Some of my closest relationships were obliterated in 2017 when I revealed things that were deeply true for me. Had I spoken my truth earlier, I don’t know whether my relationships would have survived, but I do know there would have been less pain. Less heartbreak to those that I love.

In 2017 I came face to face with the patterns I run to keep myself ‘safe’ in intimate relationships. The ways I hide. The ways I lie. The masks I wear. The ways I trick myself into believing I want things I don’t really want to avoid the pain of letting go. The ways I create flaws in things that could work to avoid experiencing deeper joy and intimacy and love. The ways I run when things get too vulnerable and real.

I have learned a lot, and I have healed a lot. I have exposed the places where I was pretending.

My heart has finally let go of a man whom I deeply loved, but who had never chosen me in the way my heart needed. My relationships with women in my life are deepening, slowly, in a way that feels honest and free to a degree I have never before experienced. And I have found the courage to open my heart to a man who could meet me in all the ways I long to be met.

The sisterhood and the great love story haven’t ‘happened’. But they are ‘happening’. I can feel it. 

2017, you were sure as Hell challenging, but I have faith in your Justice.

I have finally admitted and chosen what I want, and I am cultivating the discipline and the boundaries to hold my heart open every day to receiving it.  

It hasn’t ‘happened’ yet. But it is ‘happening’. I can feel it.

I am becoming the woman who can live the story I so deeply want to live.

xo,

Danielle

Danielle RondeauComment
The Stirring of the Breeze

I can feel a draft. A slight pull. The softest breeze flutters my hair, tickles my skin.  

There used to be an open door here, I tell myself.

Heck, at one point there wasn’t even a door, just a gaping hole letting in every storm. Pulling me out towards other places and things.

I hear a chuckle.

And before that, a voice whispers, there wasn’t even a thing, or a thing holding the thing. No doors. No walls. No roof. Not even a foundation.

No ground. No stakes. No place to begin.

It is easy now to judge the existence of the breeze as it enticingly calls my attention away from what is. 

It is easy to forget all the land that was crossed simply to arrive here.

It is easy to forget all the agonizing indecision that was surrendered simply to call this place home, and to begin.

It is easy to forget the courage that was had.

It is easy to forget the battles that were won.

And it is so, so easy to see only the crack of the open door where the outside air still gets in.

Judgement speaks to me: When will you choose fully?

Judgment asks this despite that I know, to the extent I know how, I have.

Maybe this is as good as it gets is my heart's hopeful despairing reply - this resolute choosing, this short-term foreseeable is.

Maybe the breeze will always tease and taunt and stir up doubts on days when I am tired and inclined to let all of the non senses in.

Maybe there is no more than this peace I have accessed. This knowing that, to the extent that I know, I am who I am, and I am where I am meant to be.

Maybe this sense of anticipation: this four-black-crow-feathers sighting; this two-years-off unknowing; this adventure-calling, heart-beat-skipping, whole-body-longing stirring, of the breeze will always be living somewhere inside of me.

Or, maybe, one day, when I am ready, I will meet my longing fully in the experience of what is.

xo,

Danielle

Danielle RondeauComment
Thoughts on Commitment, Justice and Death

It's that time of year. 

The time of reflection. Of letting go, and letting die, all of the parts of our lives that are no longer serving. The parts that maybe we got a little carried away with (or in, or by) in the excitement of spring and summer blooming. It is a time of choosing, firmly, those things we are committed to. A time of remembering our big picture vision, and our deepest why. Of hunkering down and showing up to what truly matters.

Each year about this time, I learn to a deeper degree the importance of integrity. The importance of being clear in my communications with others about what I want, what I need, and what I am willing to offer. The importance of trusting in my own choosing. The cost of not doing so, it seems, gets higher and higher each year. 

It is also a time of justice (or karma). A time of reckoning. A time of coming to face our deeper truth; our soul; the part of us that is connected to the larger web of Life. This is the part of us that feels deeply the impact of our indulgences and frivolities on ourselves, others and the world.  

Autumn is a time of being stripped down and bared to the world in our raw humanity - destructive self-indulgent patterns, egoic manipulations, warts and blemishes, and all. There is no hiding from autumn's desquamation.

The process of receiving fall's truth often results in some kind of death, and a humbling of our egos. As I related to a good friend a few weeks ago (after receiving a dose of my own truth), truth often feels like a smack-down. Like we have been chasing the stars in some magical world and all of a sudden a force of Life larger than us flicks us out of the sky and says, lovingly, but firmly, "Get back down on Earth, Earthling."  

We are left feeling defeated, exposed, and humbled. But also peaceful, and kind of relieved. More deeply trusting that we do not need to hold it all ourselves. Trusting that we can surrender to Life. Trusting that there is justice inherent in the laws of the natural world. 

In this space of death we are always asked to let go. Things we were pursuing excitedly will suddenly fall away. Things we thought we wanted will no longer hold any appeal. People will leave. Opportunities will vanish. We will simply no longer have energy for anything that is not 100% true. And so we let go. Or it lets go of us. The letting go is not easy, but it is necessary. We must experience death. 

In this space of death we grieve, and we also receive a gift - a gift of space. Space where we can feel deep into the cavity of our hearts and hear the calling, the longings, the deepest desires of our own soul. Space where we can hear with new clarity our truth.

Like the rock in the riverbed, water will continue to rush around us, but we will be settled. Settled in for the long winter nights ahead.

Stripped down, our truth is clear. Humbled, we have courage to speak it. 

This is the space from which we can make true commitments.

So walk through these autumn months slowly, with as much intention and presence as you can muster. Allow yourself your grief. Spend some time feeling into the longings that emerge from deep within your heart. Honour the truth of what you find there. Slowly, with the heaviness of a heart that is settled, begin to speak your new desires and promises into the world.

Be sure, also, to take a moment, amidst the grief and the quiet and the revelations, to celebrate all that has brought you to this place of deeper knowing of yourself. Be endlessly grateful for the deeper vein of Life that flows through you - the part of you that intuitively knows and yearns to live from a place of Justice, and that calls you home again and again, to your unique conversation in the world.

xo,

Danielle

Danielle RondeauComment
Thoughts on the Feminine, Fire and the In Between

There is a force inside of me I have feared would eat everything alive if I let it. 

Like the wildfires and the raging seas consuming life all over the Earth. The wild in me is powerful that way. It comes from the same place.

It holds hands with the Earth. It roars with the sea and the fire and the wind. It destroys and then honours what is dying. It is hard for me, in this human form, to know what to do with this force. My body claws itself from the inside. My energy swirls darkly making me sick. My emotions burn black holes in my skin. My mind races to find solutions. My spirit trusts, but only just barely, sometimes.

I am struggling to break free of the conditioning of this mighty system. These walls, these rules, these structures, these ideas, these toys. All created to keep me safe from this wildness, this force.

All the stories that I know are suffocating. They have been stifling this force inside me since the day I was born. Tying down my wildness. Silencing me. Forbidding me to be who I really am. This is not what it means to be safe. My heart knows.

I am trying to break free! I scream. Do you hear me?

But there is only silence. I am heavy. Weighed down by the stories. It is hard to speak my truth from this in between place.

And so I dance. And I write. And I dance. And I write. And I find moments, small ways, to reconnect with what is lost – my creativity, my cycle, my curves and the moon. I find spaces where my wildness can be held, and where I can hold the wildness of others. I find spaces where we can burn.

Sometimes I collapse into a ball and shake furious with tears. Sometimes I snarl like a predator about to pounce on its prey. Sometimes I laugh hysterically in a voice that is not mine, from a place beyond this place and time. Sometimes I breathe deep into my womb and howl into the night.

There is no space for this kind of wild in our world.

This kind of wild is labelled dangerous. Crazy. Stupid. Silly. Overly dramatic. Witchy. Not too long ago women were burned alive for these things.

Sometimes I believe these stories – that my wild nature is dangerous. Look to the past, the voice says. See all the times you have listened to this voice, allowed this force, acted from this place. Do you remember the destruction? Careers dropped, people left, homes abandoned. Lives destroyed. Hearts broken. Reckless launching into unstable, unsustainable, insatiable things.

There is plenty of evidence, the voice says. The wild woman cannot be trusted. It is she who makes us unsafe. What we need is more rules, more structures, more systems to keep her tame and in place.

FUCK NO.

In my heart, in my soul, in every ounce of my body – with all of who I am – I say, FUCK NO.

These stories are simply not true. They are not serving me. They are not serving Life. They are not needed. They must be let go. It is no longer their time.   

If you starve yourself all day, you will gorge at night. If you suppress your wild for years and years, at some point she will burst free screaming, ready to fight. The wild feminine cannot be eliminated any more than the need to eat.

The Earth is the Divine Mother, nurturing bearer of new life. But she is also Kali, the Fire Goddess, the bringer of destruction, alchemy, death and rebirth. If we do not take off the shackles of shame we have placed upon the Feminine and love her for all that she is, she will burst free and restore balance by destroying all that is structured and masculine to the extreme.

Look around. She already is.  

Every night I stare into the small flicker of my candle and I pray that I will find strength to let go of my own stories of controlling and keeping safe. Every day I work with my own Fire. I forgive myself for the misguided bursts of pent up destruction. I remind myself I am learning to be with my wild again. I am bringing myself back into balance. I am learning to love myself – all of myself – not just my masculine drive and my nurturing mothering heart, but also my wildfire passion, my hurricanes of destruction, my arms that can hold death with reverence and delight, and my powerful visions of rebirth.

I am learning to trust my feminine wisdom.

I am learning to rewrite the stories I have been taught, and to live by new stories that serve me. Stories that are trusting of the wholeness of life. Stories that are honouring of my wildness. Stories that remind me I am needed in all the ways that I am.

And I am praying for our world, that, collectively, we will find the strength to trust deeply enough, and the courage to write a new story expansive and inclusive enough, to get us through these wild, in between times.

I am praying we remember that even in times of destruction and fire we are okay, that we are simply being stripped of our fear-based identities, our illusions of safety and the masks that keep us disconnected from Life.

I am praying we make space for the wild feminine in our hearts, in our lives, and in our world. I am praying we remember that in this in between time, it is our trust in Her Fire that will keep us safe, and warm our hearts in the dark of night.

xo,

Danielle

Danielle RondeauComment