Back to ME

I am me My name is Danielle Rondeau.

I am a lawyer, coach, and activist.  

I am passionate about living. I am passionate about getting to know myself, who I am, and what I love. I believe in seeing myself so I can bring my highest self and my highest contribution.

I am passionate about connecting. I am passionate about being seen and being real. I believe weakness is appearing strong, and courage is vulnerability.

I am passionate about wellbeing. I believe self care is the foundation of all life, all love, and all creation. I believe without self care there is no capacity to care for others.

I am passionate about health. I believe our health is our greatest asset, our greatest resource, and our greatest investment.  I believe without health nothing else matters.

I am passionate about dreaming big. I am passionate about inspiring and being inspired. I believe nothing is impossible, and the greatest fear we must step into is our own greatness.

I am passionate about being a lawyer. I am passionate about solving problems and being creative. I believe legal knowledge is a gift and law is a profession of helping.

I am passionate about writing. I am passionate about sharing stories, struggles, and successes. I believe every story has a life, and every life is a million stories that, untold, are lost.

I am passionate about helping. I believe each of us has unique strengths, skills, and resources. I believe we can survive only by helping and receiving help.

I am passionate about change. I am passionate about experimenting and learning. I believe everything is the way it is only because we choose it to be and something different is always available.

I am passionate about being a light. I believe we each have something to stand for. I believe by stepping into what we stand for we will transform the world.

I am passionate about gratitude. I am passionate about acknowledging and expressing gratitude daily. I believe gratitude has the power to heal and to provide.

I am passionate about laughter. I am passionate about bringing joy and play into life. I believe from the capacity for laughter flows the capacity for all else.

I am passionate about possibility. I am passionate about taking a step out over the edge. I believe we are always on the edge of the unknown, and the unknown is possibility.

I am passionate about life. I am passionate about dreaming life, creating life, living life, and loving life. I believe life is our greatest love and if you love life, life will love you back.

I am Danielle Rondeau.

I am light. I am possibility. I am passion. I am play. I am heart.

I am ME.



The Problem With Goals

goal So here goes. I am facing a dilemma. Personal crisis. Life crisis. Literally. It’s possible the entire foundation of what I have been writing about needs rethinking.

Ok, I may be exaggerating a little, but the essence of my struggle is this: why make goals? Do goals add to my wellbeing or take from it? Is the fact that I have set goals preventing me from being content with who I am? Are my goals frustrating my ability to enjoy the moment, to be content with where I am now? Do my goals leave room for spontaneity and flexibility? Is the goal itself the very thing that zaps the fun out of the doing, that turns the things I love into have tos and shoulds?

The answer I have come up with is equally confusing: yes and no.

Yes because in fact that is the way my goals have been affecting me. And no, because if I look a little deeper I can see that it is me who chooses to define goals and doing things in a way that disempowers me.

Here’s how it started. Two weeks ago, after arguing with myself for a while about whether I had taken on too much, I actually sat down and wrote out all of the things I want to do in a week. I estimated the amount of time it takes to do each thing, added in seven hours of sleep per night, eating and self care, and I came up with something that scared me: three hours on Sunday. The only free time that I had left myself in an entire week was three hours on Sunday!

I thought about this and immediately came to the conclusion that I had taken on an unrealistic amount of things. Unexpected delays, distractions, and the occasional inefficiency or procrastination would almost certainly take up those extra three hours every week. There was no room for spontaneity. No room to relax or enjoy an unexpected activity or conversation without failing to complete everything I want to complete in a week, which would lead to getting behind and failing to achieve my goals. I decided I had set myself up to fail, and since failure is not something I like, I decided something had to change.

So last week I thought a lot about quitting. What I wanted to give up. I even wrote a blog post about quitting. I was giving myself permission to quit something that I really wanted to do without feeling guilty about it. And I do believe it is important to empower our choices and not view quitting or changing our minds as failure. But after all that rationalizing I just couldn’t bring myself to quit anything. Not anything big anyways. I wanted to do it all.

So what is a girl to do?

My motto for the year is "nothing is impossible" and I was determined that there had to be another way. I started strategizing different possibilities that could give me the freedom and flexibility for spontaneity and to enjoy the moment, but still achieve my goals. I was stumped.

Then last weekend while in Victoria, I gained some insights into another way. I was visiting one of the judges I had clerked for and we were talking about life. I shared my dilemma with her and she told me some of the stories that make up her rich and fascinating life. She also told me something else, which initially I found strange. She’s never set a goal for herself. She’s never tried to define, or set out to attain, success. This initially shocked me, as she is one of the most successful people I know.

As I let this sink in over the next few days, it came to make more and more sense. Instead of being guided by a particular predefined outcome, she was guided by a deep sense of who she was. The words groundedness, intuition, values, principle, and integrity were constantly floating around in my mind.

I immediately liked this option. It left immense room for flexibility and enjoying the moment, yet I could still be guided by those things that are important to me. I thought with all of these ingredients surely I could come up with a solution to my problem.

An alternate plan was hatched.

I began talking these ideas over with a few friends and came up with an alternate universe. In this universe I don’t have goals. I may have some short term projects that I am working on, but there is no rigidity, no have tos, shoulds, and by whens. My direction in life would instead be guided by principle, by my values, and the things that are important to me. I would simply trust that my life would take on the course it was supposed to take, and I would end up where I was supposed to end up.

I thought I had it all figured out.

I ran my alternate universe by my life coach on Thursday. After an hour of trying to convince her that I had figured out the solution to life, fielding her questions about what I was going to do with my projects in this alternate world, and listening (a little grudgingly) to her suggestion that I may want to take a look at how I define the word “goal”, I was no longer sure my solution was as simple as I had made it out to be.

Although I wasn’t ready to give up on the idea, I could see that what I was trying to do was “fix” my problem. It was an all or nothing approach to projects and goal setting. Either I have goals and rigidity and what I love turns into have tos, or I have no goals and lots of flexibility and I can enjoy the moment.

I thought a little more about my alternate universe and how it would apply to each of my projects. Did I want to just throw the goals out the window? What about the marathon, for example? It has a defined end date; a date by which my training will be complete and I will step out on the road and run 42 km. How can I eliminate the goal on that one?

I was back where I started. Or was I?

While I was not ready to let go of my goals, I also was not ready to let go of a more flexible approach to life; one where I trust myself a little more to act on what is important to me, without having a schedule that only allows me three hours of free time a week.

I don’t know what the answer is. I just wanted to share with you my thoughts as I’m right in the thick of it. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you have some insights. Maybe there is no answer at all.

To be continued I'm sure...



Image credit 1

Let's End 2013 in a BIG Way.

new year, resolution, 2014, 2013, dream, believe, lawyer For me the start of a new year is exciting and terrifying.

This past month I have been looking back over 2013 and reflecting on all of the things I have learned, the goals I have achieved, the changes I have made, and the relationships I have grown. I can honestly say 2013 has been one of my best years ever.

There have been negatives as well. I have failed at many things in 2013. I have wavered in my belief in myself. And I have let fear hold me back more than I would like to admit.

Yet despite the things that got in the way, I am grateful for all that I have lived and learned in 2013.

Last year at this time if someone had asked me what my goals were for 2013 I would have said, I wasn’t sure. Maybe I would have thrown out a few vague ideas like – eat healthier, exercise more, work less, enjoy life, travel etc.

I didn’t really know what I wanted or how to make myself happy. I was waiting for some amazing idea or opportunity or person to plop itself in front of my face and make my life perfect, and me happy. I realize now that I was afraid to dream big. I was afraid to even whisper to myself what my dreams might be. Afraid to take my happiness into my own hands. Afraid that I might actually have it in me to be and do and achieve something great.

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. – Marianne Williamson

I now know the truth in this quote.

As I sat down yesterday to do some dreaming about what I want to create for myself in 2014, I realized how much I have grown in the past year.

My dreams are clear. I can feel them in my heart.

My heart spoke boldly as I began to write my goals on the page. When I finished I read them over and my stomach began to churn. I closed the book terrified. They were huge. And I could hear a familiar voice telling me they were impossible.

But my heart was stronger.

My heart now often wins over my mind’s fear based reasoning. Above all else, it is this 2013 change I am grateful for: the courage to listen to my own heart.

In the spirit of that courage I have decided to share with all of you my top ten goals for 2014. 1. Law: More court experience, more responsibility, more pro bono… 2. Travel: World Domination Summit weekend in Portland; 4 weeks to Brazil and Peru… 3. TYS: Write and publish a book on Creating a Life You LOVE in Law… 4. Blog: Write 50+ blog posts, and 5 articles for other publications… 5. Personal: Complete and graduate from 12 month Accomplishment Coaching Program… 6. Health: Continue to develop positive habits, more sleep, less emotional eating… 7. Fitness: Run a marathon and a half marathon… 8. Relationships: More communication, more gratitude, more vulnerability… 9. Financial: Make at least $120,000, save at least $25,000 … 10. Giving Back: Volunteer 3+ hours a month with an eating disorder program in Vancouver…

Thinking about these goals still terrifies me, but it excites me even more; and I cannot wait to open my heart to each of them as the clock strikes 12 and the New Year begins.

My intention for 2014 is to let my light shine even more. To set aside my fears and courageously step into my own greatness. To dream big. To love completely. To live fully. To BELIEVE.

My motto for 2014 is: NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.

Each day I will repeat this with conviction. Each day I will find courage in my heart and recommit to myself. And that is what will make 2014 my BEST YEAR yet!

My wish for all of you is that you believe with your whole heart in your own greatness. Whisper your dreams to yourself and then shout them out to the world. Let those around you support you. Commit to yourself and take a step with courage towards your dreams each day.

dream, believe, reflect, 2013, 2014, resolution

Thank you all for being a part of my life in 2013.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year!