Thoughts on Resistance, Breaking Through and the Magick of Mediocre Pizza

It feels like forever since I have written or shared with you all. As if I entered a time warp early April and a year passed for me despite that its only been about 60 days.

I have so much to share. I just haven’t been ready. So here is the ‘Cole’s Notes’ for this post, in case you want to skip ahead and read only the parts that call to you: 1) why sharing your Soul Journey is an act of resistance; 2) F***ING BREAKING THROUGH; and, 3) the Magick of Mediocre Pizza.

Sharing Your Soul Journey is an Act of Resistance

I’ve been doing some reflection lately on why it is I write these posts. Why do I share the deepest thread of my journey when it’s often messy, and riddled with wild bursts of inspiration and equally wild bouts of self-doubt? Why do I share with you the process of my transformation, instead of just sharing the end results?  Successes, inspiring wins, and magic formulas get way more likes than indecision, grief, and excited sharing (and correcting course). So why share these things at all?

My thoughts took me back to when I started this blog six years ago (early 2013). My purpose then was twofold: personal healing; and inspiring others.

First and foremost, I write this blog for me. Writing about my journey of self discovery and sharing it with others is the greatest tool for healing I have yet to discover (which is why I founded Write Your Soul Story for you, in case you haven’t figured that out 😊).  

I also realised very early on that in our culture where super human perfection is revered, sharing my perceived flaws and the messiness of my journey (humanity) with others, provided both healing and inspiration to those who read it. And so, I share both my messiness and my wins with you because I want you to know it is not only OKAY to be human, it is NECESSARY. The only way to grow and heal, and be liberated to do something meaningful with our lives is to allow ourselves to be willing to hold it all. We must be willing to embrace all of our humanity and our divinity, messiness and wildness included. I want you to know its ok to be exactly who you are and where you are at.

It is ok to not be perfect.

That takes me to the third reason I continue to write this blog: it is an act of resistance. Sharing the messiness of our humanity from an empowered place is an act of resistance in a culture that values only perfection. It is an act of resistance in service of a wider revolution that is beginning to take hold. A revolution of self-love. An allowance of all of who we are. A returning to a deep trust in humanity, and the intelligence of the life force that flows through us (and all life). And that is a revolution that I definitely want to be a part of.

So share not only your wins, but your messiness friends. May the resistance continue.

F***ING BREAKING THROUGH

123 days in to my 300 Days of Soul.

I have been doing some deep healing of the wounds around making money from creative work; around standing in my truth and being seen. It has not been easy. I am shedding at a deeper level the identity of suffering that has kept me silently bound up in a bed of thorns. I have fought my way free, but I am sore from the battle. I am still tending to the last of my wounds.

Becoming someone who speaks confidently into the world what she wants, and stands unwavering her ground, while still being connected to her heart and the impact she is creating, is deep work for me. I am healing wounding and rewriting patterns of suppression that have held back my lineage for generations.

I have at times felt absolute terror running through my body. I have wanted to cave. I have wanted to quit. I have wanted to run. I have wanted to retreat and give in. I have wanted to do anything and everything but stand my ground. I haven’t done any of those things but it has taken all of my strength not to. For a couple of weeks fear gripped me and I was unable to move forward with my vision. My mind and body stopped processing properly on many levels. I was literally getting sick.

I continued to trust because I know I am doing deep healing work, and I know the rewards are always worth it. My daily spiritual practices and my regular free writing helped to keep me sane. My relationship with my partner Jason, which is only getting stronger, and which reminds me every day of the power of believing in your dreams even when you are going through hell and back, has helped me keep my faith in my dreams for my work in the world.

Ultimately, it was coming back to and inhabiting fully my body that helped me break through (it always is). In a rage-filled dance of surrender, I released the terror. I faced the fear. I let my life force flow.

My rage is my ally in this work. My Holy Rage. My Power.

My friends, I am sharing this with you because I want you to know it is ok if you are going through hell and back on the inside in service of something greater. I feel you. We are in this together.

I also want you to know this part of my journey, because, friends, I am f***ing breaking through. This is the time. My creative work will soon be what sustains me. I am rising. I can feel it. And I want you to know I am not special. I don’t want you to just see the shiny part where I made it, and think: “Well she must just be lucky. She’s different. It’s so much harder for me. I can’t.”

I never want you to think you can’t because its hard for you and it looked easy for someone else. I never want you to give up. I want you to remember this blog post when you are wavering, and let it forge new strength and determination in your heart. Let my grit awaken your grit, and you too will emerge from your inner war, bloody but victorious.  

We all have to face our own demons on the way to freedom. None of us gets to skip this part.

Needless to say, it has been an emotional couple of months. I have, however, continued to show up to my commitments, and managed to have some relaxation and fun. I have done what I said I was going to do. I am continuing to slowly decrease my legal work. I have hired a business coach. This month, with her assistance, I am making a sustainable plan.

I will continue to stand firmly in my truth no matter how uncomfortable.

I will rise. I will be free. Just watch me.

The Magick of Mediocre Pizza

After my mother of a multi-month-long-awaited-breakthrough, I took myself and my notebook out for pizza and wine (as you do). Despite that my body was still not 100% recovered, I knew that comfort and familiarity was what it needed more than a “healthy clean meal”. So, I trusted. And it was glorious.

Well, to be honest, both the wine and the pizza were mediocre (I was at a pub), but I was so blissed out from the feeling of being in flow again in my life, that the average nature of the food was lost on me. Everything was magickal. The hazy-yellow pub lights twinkled like stars in a black velvet night sky and… well, you get the picture.

I began writing. First, journaling about my day and the wonderfully mediocre pub fare. And then a little more quickly letting the words emerge through the pen from a deeper place, faster than my conscious mind can follow. Surrendering into the flow:

“I am trusting that this [pizza and wine] is what my body needs. I feel so much more peaceful now. I do not have to give up all of my comforts to succeed. I do not need to force myself to be a certain way. I am allowed to be human. I am allowed to have an ego. I am allowed to succeed. All of the above. Together. In service of each other and the deeper calling of my Soul. Sometimes I forget that it is a conversation. It needs to be a conversation. I can’t dive into my soul’s purpose (divine purpose?) at the expense of my humanity.

DIVINITY AND HUMANITY ARE POLARITIES.

Soul is the paradox that holds it all!!!

Revelation!!!

Soul is not = to divinity.

Interesting Concept.

Yes. Then what is Soul.

Pure Life Force.

Soul is the truth that encompasses all of it. Soul takes into account your humanity and divinity; it challenges you to embody more aspects of both than you previously have. It does not favour one to the other. It considers the wider impact and consequences of you pursuing one path or another. It guides you from a wholistic place of knowing what is in service of Life. Not only your life, but all Life. It can do this because it is tapped into the energetic frequency of Life.

SOUL IS THE ENERGETIC FREQUENCY OF LIFE.

Wholly ****. I feel goosebumps. Resonating. Soul is the energetic frequency of Life. So good. So, so good.

YES!!”

I forgot how good it is to write with pizza and wine. Those moments where we get glimpses into the mysteries of Life. I may write more on the subject of divinity and soul soon, or it may simply be absorbed into my larger philosophy. All I know is that when I am willing to be with all of it, and I am willing to listen to the deeper Soul Voice within me, I am rewarded with moments like this: moments when a resonance of Truth inhabits my whole body, and it feels absolutely exquisite to be alive. These moments make it all worthwhile, and make me so grateful for the strength and the courage and the grit I have cultivated to get me through the tough times.

I know I have only rounded the corner on the first leg of this mountain I am climbing. There are many more challenging treks ahead, but I feel rejuvenated, and ready.

This life is hard and beautiful, friends. Don’t shy away from one, or you will miss the other. And wouldn’t it be a shame to miss out on stories of liberation, because we were afraid of our stories of pain.

Let us face those sad stories and re-write them. Go on now. Pick up your pen.

Xo,

Danielle

60 Days In: The Alchemy of Discomfort; Blooming Through the Tangled Web of Spring

February 4, 2019. A Monday. Two months ago. The date of my last blog post. The first day of my 300 Days of Soul. A week before that, I had launched the 300 Day program, for you. But the truth is, I wasn’t ready. I still needed the space, and the time, and the energy, for me.

And so, with a quiet promise to myself, I took my time back, and my energy. 300 days for me to transition fully into the work I came here to do.

Selfish, yes. So very selfish. But oh, so, very generous, too. Filling myself up, and setting myself free, so that I will be, and have, more to give to you, when our journey together begins.

Gift yourself what you need. It is the greatest gift you can give those with whom you are in relationship.

I am now 60 days into this journey – this intentional dedication to my own Soul – and there is no denying my Soul’s truths have begun to take root and unfurl into the world.

I have initiated a transition out of formal legal work.

My last day at my law firm will be November 15, 2019 – four years to the day since I last returned. I have negotiated a slow transition out, to temper the shock of the change for both me and them. My colleagues are family to me, and this loss is more than financial.

Navigating conversations about leaving my firm has not been easy. Being with the discomfort of disappointing others and still holding my ground is something I find very challenging.

I am leaving. I really am. I am. It has taken a while for me to take myself seriously. Bolting would be easier. Less time to change my mind. Less time to feel the impact. Less time to grieve. Less time for fear and doubt to creep in.

Yet, I know I need to do this slowly, and responsibly. I am ready. It is time. Another 7 months will not change my mind. The truth in my Soul will not waver, and I am unwilling to numb it out. I have fought too hard to build up this relationship of trust with my Soul to give up now.

Instead, I practice the art of Grace: I give myself permission to be human. Every. Day. I give myself permission to not be perfect in how I communicate my truth. I give myself permission to go back in, to correct course, and to clean up my messes, as many times as is necessary to stay true to myself, and be respectful of those whom my actions impact.

Our culture vastly underestimates the alchemical power of standing in an uncomfortable conversation. Too often we miss out on the healing and transformational gift of allowing disagreement and pain to exist, in the open, without trying to fix it.

My heart is breaking from this leaving. I grieve the potential futures I have not chosen, such as being a partner at this firm. I grieve the familial comfort of the office that has been my second home. I will continue to grieve the changes over the coming months, as my heart becomes lighter, and more excited about the adventure to come.

I will not avoid the pain. I will not deny myself the experience of the underbelly of love.

I am noticing in this moment just how good it feels to write this, to make this process sacred. Because it is.

Allowing my Soul to guide me does not mean I get to escape the vulnerability of my humanity; it means opening to those tender, trembling moments even more. It means amplifying my self-love and self-forgiveness to levels beyond what I have previously known, and being present with all of it.

In those courageous moments when I have spoken my Soul’s truth with an open heart, despite my nauseating fear, I have felt, in an embodied way, ancient and well-worn patterns of self denial begin to re-route themselves; deep seated wounds begin to recover.

The body is amazing. It will work miracles of healing for us if we choose to fully inhabit it, while standing in our Soul’s truth.

Sixty days in. It has not been easy so far. I doubt that will change. But I have experienced magick, deep healing, and the freedom of allowing my Soul to be seen.

I am emerging from the entangled and thorny brush of the past two months, cradling a tightly-woven bud. The fog is lifting. The sun is peaking.

I am pregnant with the creativity of spring.

May the blooming begin.

Xo,

Danielle

The Power of Dreams, An Apology, and a Castle

Sometimes you do the dishes because you are overflowing with love and generosity and want to do something sweet for your partner, and sometimes you do them even though you would rather collapse on the couch, simply because it is your turn.

This is how partnership works. I am learning.  

There is an ease to it, when both people are equally committed to the relationship for the long haul. There is giving and receiving that occurs, for the most part, naturally. A flow of energy is constantly being balanced.

This balancing often occurs without speaking, because of the choice each makes every day to place conscious attention on the well-being of the other. At times, re-calibration is required through honest expression of desires and needs and a willingness to come back to the love at the centre, and to listen.

When the flow of energy is in equilibrium in a relationship there is peace. From that base of peace, magick and creation are possible. Four hands working towards a common goal, will get you there twice as fast. This being so, being in partnership allows for goals that are too big and daunting for one to take on alone.  

The romantic partnership I am building with my partner Jason has done just that. A dream that I had buried deep inside me and almost forgotten, has been reignited. It no longer feels impossible, because I no longer have to do it all alone.

Before I tell you what it is, and how this came about, I want to take a moment to speak about the power of visioning.

In April, 2015, I created a vision for my life that was truly without limitation – I set aside every fear and every belief of what I thought was not possible – and I allowed the vision of the life of my dreams to emerge.

I focused on each area of my life that was important to me – relationship with myself, romantic relationship, career, family and community. These were long term visions I created; things to be crafted over a lifetime.

Here I stand four years later, and I can honestly say that I see signs of all of them coming true. Some – the ones I intended would occur sooner – are more clearly manifested/manifesting than others. My relationship with myself and my romantic relationship are the dreams that have, so far, come to life the most.

The vision I created for my romantic relationship in 2015 was as follows:

My romantic partner and I fall more in love every day. We continually access deeper love and connection and experience higher levels of growth for both of us. We call each other forward and support each other to be our greatest selves in every aspect of our lives. We appreciate and relate to each other from love and compassion. We face the world as a team. We play and laugh often and flow in life together with ease. We are consistently stepping forward into new depths of intimacy – emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual. We allow each other to be the one for us. We are excited to create a family together. We partner together everywhere without trying, like falling into step beside your best friend. We hold ourselves and each other as whole, complete and perfect. We are responsible for our own thoughts, words and actions. We are both committed to life partnership and have strong bond that can withstand the storms of life. We have deep admiration and passionate desire for each other. We create romance and adventure and exploration and surprise at every turn. We are at home with each other. We are one in love.

This vision is now a true representation of my current romantic partnership. The tangibles – the who, the what and the where – and road it took to get me to this place, are a lot different that those I imagined at the time I wrote the vision. Yet, because I had the clarity of vision, the courage to write it down and declare it, the faith to keep showing up, and the willingness to keep learning the lessons that the heartbreak, failure and wrong turns my path held had to teach me, I find myself here today, clear and confident that I am creating the romantic relationship I envisioned in the deepest part of my Soul.

This is the power of a vision, and committed action towards it, in the face of a million reasons to fold.

So, don’t forget to take time to vision, alright?

Now, back to the flame that has been reignited: My vision for my career.

In April 2015, I wrote:

I work in a castle on the water on Vancouver Island – it holds love and beauty and mystery and magic. It represents wholeness and oneness; a bringing together of Life in all forms. The castle houses my life’s work; it is a Wholeness Institute which welcomes all teachings and remembering of who we are. My mission is to empower individuals to remember all of who they are so that they can be one again with all Life and to rediscover and embrace their true self and live in the creative freedom of that knowing. There are many brilliant teachers and 100s gifted students that attend every year. The castle holds and supports us as individuals and together with each other and with Life. The castle is surrounded by nature. It overlooks the sea and is backed by woods with beautiful trails. Its presence represents the human soul force that lives as one with the natural world withstanding every storm. It is the place to come to find that force in yourself so that you can weather your own life’s storms and be in deeper connection with all Life. It is a place of self discovery, wholeness, oneness and freedom. It is an expression of all of who we are, of the love in our souls and all of the ways we co-create together.  

Within a year of writing this vision I no longer spoke of it. I was still taking small steps towards its essence: writing books on these subjects, hosting workshops, writing blogs. But the vision of running a retreat centre where teachers could collaborate and students could gather to reconnect with themselves and their soul seemed too big. Too daunting. I shut down the part of my heart that held it, and made my dreams smaller.

For some reason, on my first date with Jason, I mentioned my dream of building a wholeness retreat centre. We were on bikes, riding along the seawall. I forget what question he asked, but my answer was a brief sentence about my vision. He responded in a way that indicated he understood what I wanted to create.  

Over the next few months, the dream began to flourish. I felt the spark in me again. Jason began to dream about it, literally. He would wake and tell me details of our farm and the beautiful retreat we would create for others. His dreams added to my vision in ways that made my heart sing. Not only that, he is a carpenter by trade. He wants to help me build it, and he can – and he will.

That last bit – that he will – was the part I did not quite believe. To a certain degree I did, but deep down, I still had reservations. Is it really possible that he wants to help me build my dreams? Are they really his dreams too? Are we really partners for the long haul? Can I trust him, and our partnership, enough to open my heart again fully to this dream? Can I allow myself to believe it is possible?

The early part of this year has been a bit messy for me because of all of this. And that is where the apology comes in.

My vision was in process of becoming bigger again, but I was still operating on the basis it was small, and I was doing it alone. I did my New Year intentions solo, without involving my partner. I launched new programs and workshops. I made decisions from a place of not trusting fully, not believing fully in our vision, not fully letting him in.

Within a few days of launching them, it all came to a head. Our equilibrium was off. We were no longer aligned and partnering with ease. We talked. We re-calibrated. We became a stronger team because of it. My dream, that has become our dream, is not only sparked, but fully ignited.

As a result of the big picture shift, the steps to get there also shifted. New plans were in order. The workshops I rushed ahead and launched had to be recalled and refunded. The energy I had for them was no longer there. There are other steps to be taken, before I begin offering workshops again.

For the impact of that change on you, I am truly sorry.  

And now, my dear friends, I’m off to build a castle with my love.  I hope that one day we will have you for a visit – and that you won’t get too scared crossing the moat.  It will of course be filled with magickal creatures. But they will not hurt you, only help you to remember the magick within yourself.

I have no doubt that the tangibles (the who, the what and the where), and the road to get there, will not be as I envisioned. They have not been so far. Our castle may be a moss-covered hobbit house with secret classrooms and underground passageways leading to a lake. We might get a pick up truck or ride our horses into town. Personally, I’m hoping for dragons.

We don’t get to know all the details.

What kind of adventure would it be if we did?

Xo,

Danielle

Danielle RondeauComment
Thoughts On Leaping, Soul Retrieval and Holy Rage

There is a voice in me that has been whispering – over and over, with greater and greater intensity. It says, primarily, one thing: “Are you for real this time?”

“Are You for Real this Time?”

“Well, Are You?”

“ARE YOU?!”

This voice has been with me since late December, when I began to remember the deeper why I am here.

As soon as the busyness of my legal work dissipated a few days before Christmas, the inevitable truth rose from the depths of my Soul and, once again, made itself viscerally known: the longing ache in my heart; the nauseous swirling in my gut; the blazing hot knowing scorching every inch of my human form.

My vision for the world and my knowing of who I am, what I came here to create, and how I can make a difference for Humanity and the Earth, has changed very little since early 2015 when I first made conscious contact with my own Soul.

It has developed, shifted and grown, but the core of it has not changed: teach people about Wholeness; show people how to release shame and old stories, and help them to cultivate deep awareness and allowance of themselves in the totality of their Humanity and their Divinity – so that the voice of their Soul can emerge; help people to Believe and to access the deep Trust that is required to write a Soul Story; teach the principles of the process through embodied writing; create spaces for surrender to occur.

If anything, my vision has become evermore clear. I have heard the Divine messages. I have experienced it in my body. I understand it intellectually. I long for it in my heart.

The clarity I have around my mission is unwavering. It is my willingness to embrace it that has, over the past few years, been murky and only sometimes there. I have not been ready. My foundation was too weak to support it (me). I have at times retreated in fear.

When the truth arrived yet again this December, I certainly wasn’t surprised. Whenever I pause it is there. I keep myself busy both to support it – to create a foundation upon which my vision can be sustainably created – and to avoid the pain that I am not yet living fully the truth of why I am here.

Four years ago – early 2015 – was the last time I allowed myself to believe completely. I cut my ties with everything familiar, launched myself over the canyon ledge, and risked it all for the exhilaration of the unknown. I lasted nine months, mostly on the wings and good graces of others. I made some strides, and I learned a lot, but, ultimately, my own wings were not ready to carry me. Exhausted and defeated, I crashed hard on the sharp rocks lining the canyon floor.

It has taken me three years to heal from that crash landing. There are still parts of me that have not fully healed, forgiven, and let go. The past is not something we can amputate from our lives, as much as, in times of pain or struggle, we wish it were so.

We do not, however, have to run in the opposite direction from our past forever. We can, once we have healed enough to be grounded, turn around and face it – go back into it, so to speak, and retrieve the parts of us that we abandoned, when the first time around, we bolted, to save ourselves from pain we did not yet know how to hold.

This is the underbelly of a Soul Journey: an ever expanding rememberance and retrieval of the parts of ourselves that were, at traumatic points in our journey, unwittingly left behind.

What becomes possible when you do this Soul Retrieval, is the very thing that was not possible for you last time – gentleness or fierceness, rage or kindness, saying yes or saying no, hatred or love. It is an expansion into your Wholeness – your own version, on your own time.

For me, this time, my truth has arrived with a grounded message that it time to turn around and go back into the canyon I crash landed in in August 2015 so that I can retrieve the part of my Soul that I did not have access to last time: My Rage.  

It is time for me to retrieve the Holy Rage that would have had me set the boundaries I needed to make what I was creating sustainable; the Rage that I have suppressed since I was knee high and old enough to understand from the world around me that the expression of anger, especially in a woman, was wrong, unsafe, and bad.

There is little scarier (and to be honest, more exhilarating) that I can think of than embarking on a journey of recovering my Rage. That is why I know I must do it. It is time.

So, in these early days of the New Year, I have turned to face my past. I have looked headlong into the canyon and launched myself over the edge. I am diving into its depths to be reunited with the gifts I left behind.

In doing so, I am also leaping, in a new way, into a future, that was not possible the last time I found myself ready to spread my wings and leave the solid ground.

“Are you for real this time?” the voice whispers.

And I laugh and say, “I always was.”

Xo,

Danielle

p.s. What Soul Journey are you diving into in 2019? Look for the deeper thread, the underbelly... 

Photo Credit: Megan Alcock (http://meganalcockphotographer.com/)

Taking Stock: A Personal Post on Pride and Impossible Transformations

It’s funny the things that make us pause, and take stock of where we are at, and the journey we have been on. For me, today, the invitation came in the form of an emotional health questionnaire that I was required to fill out as part of an application for disability insurance.

The form was filled with standard questions. Each probing into the details and history of any and all emotional health issues I have ever had, been told I had, or been investigated for.

At first I felt a wave of frustration. Why do I have to relay the intimate details of my mental and emotional health to some company for the purpose of allowing them to judge whether I am “good enough” for them to insure? Mostly, I didn’t really want to relive what is now in the past.

Of course, as an insurance defence lawyer who has done her share of coverage work, I was also not surprised. Insurers must assess the risk of insuring. And so, I began to fill out the questions – grudgingly at first, and then with more and more ease and willingness.

By the time I had finished documenting my history and recovery from bulimia, my reconnection to my emotional intelligence, and the work I have achieved to date in developing self-mastery over my emotions, I felt something else: a sense of pride.

A sense of pride is an odd thing for an insurance application to bring up. But that is unmistakably what arose. And while I don’t often admit it to myself, it is deserved. I have a lot to be proud of. It is a rare thing for someone to truly and sustainably release themselves from the clutches of something as powerful as bulimia.

I rarely let myself focus on this fact: I chose to do the hard work to heal my wounds and transform the fundamental beliefs that ran me, instead of choosing the easy route of pretending, or giving up and allowing the weight of the pain to crush me.

For approximately eight years (2005 to 2013) much of my time and energy revolved around food and my body. I lived by an impossible number of rules as to how little I was allowed to eat, and the weight and shape my body had to maintain. In secret, I repeatedly broke my rules by gorging on food and then tried to undo the transgression by purging, and then shaming myself into stricter rules. It was an exhausting cycle. I feared I would never be able break it.

Yet, I did. In early 2013 my life force (my soul) shouted “STOP!” and I embarked on a new and completely unknown journey. A journey into myself, and the beliefs, patterns and fears that ran me. It was not a comfortable process. It was humbling. It required I get to know parts of myself I had long since shut down – my creativity, my physicality, my spirituality, and my emotions. It required I let go of the shame around each of these parts of myself so that I could be free to be me in the world. It required I let go of people and places and things that would not transform with me.

Through this process of allowing my own humanity, I began to hear the deeper voice of truth within me. This voice was foreign. It did not counsel me to hurt or shame or force myself into a box of rules. This voice was kind and loving and compassionate. It was playful. It was peaceful. It wanted me to be free. It was this voice who told me I did not actually want to consume an entire tub of ice cream. “You just need a good cry” the voice would whisper, and slowly, I released the shame I held around the idea of being someone who cried, and I began to allow myself to cry when I needed to. The same kind of process occurred with all strong emotions and states I had been denying myself – anger, frustration, disappointment, love, passion and joy.

As I began to get in touch with the emotions I had been numbing with food, at first they were so strong it was challenging to deal with. I did not know how to listen to them. I was afraid of them. For a while I let them have a certain amount of power over me. I began changing the course of my life based on how I felt, with little consult to reason.

It was again the deeper voice of truth within me that began to show me the way. “The emotion simply wants to pass.” The voice would say. “Just allow it. Be with it. Do not react immediately.” As I began a practice of simply being with the emotions that came up in me, I found that they really did just pass. What was left in their wake was a much gentler knowing or truth.

Slowly, I began to see and understand the needs underlying the emotions that I had been suppressing: self-love, nurturance, safety, stability, connection and creative expression.  I again began the challenging process of transformation: allowing my needs to be true; releasing the shame I felt around them, and beginning to satisfy them. As I took on the task of satisfying my needs, my inner state became more and more peaceful. My emotions no longer waged war with me because I was tending to the needs they were trying to bring to my attention.

While I am still working on more subtle forms of emotional mastery – like asserting myself gracefully in conflict situations, and strengthening my ability to maintain poise and self-confidence when challenged – I am proud of where I am at and who I have become. My emotions do not rule me, and I no longer have any need for coping mechanisms.

I consider the breadth of emotional capacity I have access to as a result of my past struggles and the journey I embarked upon to overcome them a true gift. My emotions allow me to see and connect with others at levels beyond what I knew possible, and that, at times, feels magical. The degree of self-love I have learned to cultivate for myself and my own humanity has equally increased my capacity to hold healing and transformative space for others.  

As for my relationship with food, it is 100% transformed, and has been for some time. My relationship with food is intuitive. I have no rules about what or when I can eat. I do not look to food as comfort, as an escape, or to cope. I rarely overeat. Food does not preoccupy my thoughts unless I am hungry. I enjoying making and sharing meals with those I love. I have not restricted my food intake, binged or purged my food in years. Most days, the fact that I was bulimic, and that my relationship with food was unhealthy, is such a distant memory, that I forget that time in my life even existed.

Today I was reminded. Both of where I have come from in my emotional health journey, and the stark contrast to where I am at today. I have truly re-written a story. A story I once believed impossible to re-write. I am proud of myself. I am grateful for all of the support I have received along my journey. I am emboldened and filled with faith for the impossible transformations and creations yet to come.

xo,

Danielle

p.s. Maybe there is an impossible transformation you would like to acknowledge yourself for. Take a look. You deserve it.

Danielle Rondeau Comments
Partnership, Imperfections and the Magick of Life in All Things

There was a time in my life when I could not have handled any of this.

That time was not so long ago. Six months, a year, maybe. Definitely two years ago I would not have been ready. Despite that I thought I was. Despite that I wanted it. Despite that the longing was there. I was not ready.

I did not trust myself enough to be ready. I did not believe that I was deserving. I did not believe that I was worthy of true devotion or respect. I did not believe I was worthy of being cherished. I did not believe I was worthy of the love story I longed for. I did not believe I deserved a fairy tale, or a true partner in work or in life. And so, I did not know how to offer it to another.

Had partnership showed up on my doorstep two years ago I would have distrusted its sincerity. I would have discounted the value of its humility. I would have manipulated the vulnerability of its love. I would have. And I did.

I was not ready to allow myself, or another, that gift.

I am allowing it now, and it is amazing. It is not because I have figured my shit out that it has arrived. It is not because I have overcome my faults and flaws and imperfections. It has arrived because I know that I am worthy, and I would not accept anything less.

I have simply been down the road of compromising my soul’s longings too many times. I know the cost. I am unwilling to bear it. There is a line that has developed in me. If you cross it, you are done. That’s it. If you do not treat me the way I want to be treated, the only thing left between us is goodbye. I never used to be like this. I had a million chances for everyone. I simply don’t anymore. It must be like this. And it is.

I know I am ready. And yet, in the midst of stepping into this next level of love and partnership, I am realizing just how green I am at showing up as a true partner - at being reliable in my faith and in my word, and at receiving. I am coming up against my old demons. I am reminded every day just how challenging it is to keep being seen, and to keep believing.

It is not just romantic love where these challenges arise - although it is at the centre. The same challenges show up in the deepening towards partnership in all areas. Romance. Work. Friendship. Creativity. Spirituality. Family. Home.

All of our self-sabotaging patterns are revealed in the intimacy of partnership. Their impact is magnified tenfold. A new level of self-mastery is required.

With every stride forward insecurities screech like a broken record. YOU CAN’T HANDLE THIS. YOU AREN’T READY. ONCE THEY REALIZE THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU, THEY WON’T WANT YOU ANYMORE.

Not worthy. Not good enough. Undeserving.

Same old story. Same old wound.

The fear that our imperfections will be our downfall is the greatest lie we have all accepted.

It keeps us from being at peace with who we are. It has us hide parts of ourselves. It forecloses intimacy and love, and prevents us from sharing our creative gifts - some of the greatest joys of being human and alive.

These or similar stories of unworthiness have held me back from being fully seen by lovers, friends, colleagues and the world, for a very long time. I have done a lot of work to dismantle them. They have lost a lot of their power with me. Hiding is no longer where I am at, or who I am.

My life is now on loud speaker. I am not ashamed to be me in all of my beauty and imperfection.

And though the insecurities still whisper, I know they will not win. I believe I am enough. I believe I can trust. I have faith to keep showing up when life gets messy. I have developed the strength to allow the vulnerability that partnership requires.

If you are in my life you get all of me. I don’t keep secrets from those I love anymore. I know I am imperfect. I am a work in progress. And, I am deserving of love and respect just the same.

If you love and respect me in all of my messy humanity, I will love and respect you in yours. And together we will create beauty, as humans have done for centuries - imperfect, together, and believing in the magick of life in all things.

xo,

Danielle

Danielle RondeauComment
A Personal Post on Flying, and Sustainable, Fiery Love

"I have gone on a few good test runs. I have hovered at the end of this runway, on the lip of this nest, on the edge of this canyon. I have flown little circles above it. Dipped a wing beyond it."

And, now – now I am flying. Early mornings of free-falling-bliss deep into the canyon – swirling down and then back up into the clouds high, high, above – twirling noon-time, heart light-and-free, into afternoons of play-fights and peaceful resting by that aqua blue pond, just beyond, the overhang, that yesterday I discovered, until I find myself lazily zig-zagging my evening back up to my nest in the cliff-face, talons sinking into cool earth like the roots of an old tree, wings ready for tomorrow's new foray. 

Two years and two months ago I wrote the first paragraph.

The second paragraph was last weekend.

This learning to fly is slow like that. Not days, not weeks, not even months-long. Years-long. Multiple years-long learning.

More than two years to begin to get the hang of a thing is an excruciatingly long time for someone who loves to just throw herself off the cliff’s edge into the wind of something new and take chances as to where and how she lands.

Yet there is something so deeply satisfying about this years-long lift-off.

I am learning that I can be fully present, embodied, and in-love with a thing, and it can be sustainable. It does not need to take over my life. It does not need to be at a cost to my foundation, or any other area of my life.

It can grow deeper roots and become sturdier, as I fly higher and wilder. I can be both more-safe and more-free.

All of you artists out there will understand the seeming impossibility of what I am writing. You lovers too. You passionate ones who can easily be swept into a vortex of creative / romantic / sexual / intellectual / spiritual bliss, and wake up a few months later with a love-hang-over; the rest of your life in shambles.  

But, man, is the fire good. Am I right?

Those of you who know, will know why this having the intensity without the collateral damage is blowing my F-ing mind.

I have been practising this impossible concept, intentionally, in my legal work since the fall of 2015 – an area of my life where there is passion and creativity, but not quite as much as some other areas, like writing poetic philosophy, creating magical transformative experiences for people, and of course, romantic love.

I still wobble out of balance sometimes with my legal work. I still get a little “too into it” on occasion and let my home, health and relationships tremble. But I always bring it back into balance before there is true destruction of anything that matters to me.

I can’t say I’ve mastered this practice, but I now have some facility. I am showing up most days to my legal work with full intensity and leaving at the end of the work day with ample time and energy to tend to the foundation of my life, with care.

The beginning of this month I met a guy who fits the vision I have for a romantic partner, pretty well perfectly. He is sweet and passionate and wild and stable, and most importantly, a really good cook (kidding, the most important part is he’s committed to showing up – the cooking is an awesome bonus).

So, of course, there is a part of me that is freaked out that I will fall in love head-over-heels and destroy the other parts of my life that are currently working just swell. But a bigger part of me trusts.

He’s showing up in my life, because I am ready.

The past month I have proven to myself that I am. I am allowing myself to fall in love, and it is amazing. Yet I am so fiercely protective of my foundation, and what I have built with my commitment to my legal work, that those areas of my life have not suffered.

Intensity + Responsibility = Flying Without Crash Landings.

I am actually flying most days now. In-love in real-time in my real life. It is astounding. And bone-deep nourishing. Ecstasy woven into the messiness of every day life.

So, I’m going to keep at it. This years-long training is by no means over. I’m no expert at flying yet. There are higher highs I want to hit. Darker depths I want to dance with. Wild-wave-caverns I want to weave through. Wind tunnels I want to release myself into.

There are levels of ecstasy, freedom and peace I have not yet allowed myself, because I am not ready to enjoy them responsibly. And the cost of me not doing so is just too high a cost to bear when I love the life I am creating as much as I now do.

The bliss of writing these next books that live in me and owning a full-fledged Write Your Soul Story business that shares my philosophy with the world in both intellectual and experiential ways, are two things I have not yet been ready to embrace sustainably. And of course, I have only begun to scratch the surface of the depths of intimacy, passion and love that are available to me to surrender to in romantic partnership.

That I become the woman who can show up to each of these things with the full intensity of her passion, without destroying her foundation or any other area of her life – is a transformation I am committed to at the level of soul.

I am devoted. I am becoming her. She will be. I have already decided.

And so, I continue to practise this expansion. Slowly. Intentionally. And with buckets more patience than is comfortable.

I will practice this skill until I master it. And then I will tweak it and finesse it some more – until the day comes when I can shoot across the sky of my life like a comet, blazing fireworks from my eyes, creating magick with my words, roaring ferociously and dancing wildly with the creatures in the darkest depths of the forest – and still show up to Court on Monday, with the laundry done, unperturbed.

xo,

Danielle

 

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 considered taking 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