I Self-Sabotaged

My sister Kelley came to stay with me a few weeks ago.

Late one night, we fought about parenting stuff – we clearly didn’t agree on how to approach a situation with one of our kiddos. Words were exchanged. It turned into an ugly spat.

I walked away from our exchange hurt. I felt disrespected and undervalued by my sister. I was also ashamed for letting myself walk into an unkempt, fiery version of me. Although I told myself to walk away several times, that the argument was better served with my best self… I didn’t. I stayed for the fight and escalated it.

The next morning, I could still feel the emotions of the spat with me. I went to the bathroom mirror looking for a pimple or blackhead. Having sensitive skin and acne scars from my old picking-and-popping days, I knew to leave the extractions to the estheticians. But it was too tempting… I wanted a distraction.

I leaned toward the mirror and squinted, finally finding a blackhead at the crease of my nose. I dug and squeezed, pressed and pinched until that blackhead was no more.

Ugh Danielle. Don’t do this. You know it’s not good for your skin.

But what did I do?

More picking and squeezing until I finally leaned away from the mirror to witness a face full of red splotches. I looked like Hellboy with chickenpox! Why, Danielle? You know this happens every time!

I knew my face picking would cause more harm than good. I knew I’d end up with inflamed spots around my nose, cheeks and chin. But I did it anyways.

That morning when my sister woke up, we said our “I’m sorry’s”. While there was still awkwardness in the air, the tension dissipated. And as the day progressed and I started feeling better, I regretted my blackhead binging episode even more.

So why did I do it? Why did I self-sabotage?

Several reasons…

  1. Because I was feeling low, and like attracts like. I felt in good company doing a low-vibing task (like messing up my face). And perhaps, without being conscious of it, it was also a way to punish myself for the shame I felt for not holding more grace during Kelley and I’s quarrel.
  2. My self-sabotage was also my own form of escapism. I couldn’t focus on my negative feelings about the fight because I was too busy causing another problem for myself.

I’m aware that I’ve been down this road before and I need to be more careful. I have a long history of self-sabotage; of making a good scenario bad and making a bad scenario worse because I perceive a lack in some way. I’m not good enough, smart enough, caring enough…

If you self-sabotage, there are a few important things I want you to know…

  1. You’re not alone. If you go to the gym and then binge eat before bed. Or if you keep racking up your credit card debt even though you don’t have the means to pay it off. There’s many of us in the same boat and with knowing that, I hope you’re kinder and gentler the next time you hurt yourself.
  2. Spending time in reflection can help you better understand why you hurt yourself and why you add more stress and challenges to yourself. This will help you pinpoint where you need more _______ (fill in the blank. Self-love. Discipline. Healing). Hint: Oftentimes, self-sabotage is a result of unresolved trauma.  
  3. Your awareness can lead to a change in behavior. Knowing your triggers and your self-sabotaging go-to’s (blackhead picking, for instance) will allow you to better cope and create a strategy that ensures your actions stay positive, or at least neutral during hard situations.

The next time I get the urge to pinch and pick, I’ll think of this blog and grab a stress ball, not my face.

Here’s a few articles I found on self-sabotage that may help you (and will definitely help me).


Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use after you self-sabotage, ‘I send love, grace and understanding to my destructive patterns. I can’t change the past, but I will change the future.’

PPS – Grab a pen and your journal. Spend a few minutes thinking about what areas in your life you self-sabotage. Is it with money? Time? Relationships? Health? What’s the one area you want to work on improving now? Next, identify some of your limiting beliefs around the topic at hand which may contribute to your self-destructive patterns. Do you believe it’s not possible to get out of debt? Do you believe you’re not worthy of love? Do you think you’ll be unattractive regardless if you lose the 50lbs or not? Once you have a grasp on your limiting beliefs, write positive affirmations for each of them and use them every day for the next month to build up your internal power and to help retrain your brain.  

If You Have The Chance, Take It

I’m a business professor at a local community college and attended our large faculty meeting a few weeks ago. Our guest speaker was Steve Griggs, CEO of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Steve kicked off his presentation stating he’d be giving away four tickets to that night’s game against the Boston Bruins.

I perked up in my seat. I love a good Lightning game. I’m from just outside of Boston too, so the matchup was perfect and it’d be a competitive game! And most importantly, I was pumped for this opportunity because just the week before, my husband had been given sixth row seat Lightning tickets but couldn’t go because he was in the hospital.

I pictured the joy these tickets would bring to me and my family, and I whispered to Spirit, ‘Thank you for sharing abundance with me.’

Steve then said he’d give the tickets to the first one who knew where his alma mater Wilfred Laurier University was. And guess what? I knew where it was! Ontario!

But instead of jumping out of my seat and proudly exclaiming the answer, I mouthed it to myself.

I have no idea why I did this. A part of me was spaced out and I think scared to be embarrassed if I was wrong (even though my intuition told me I was right). It was so odd as I wanted the tickets but something in me froze.

Someone else popped up from her chair and loudly blurted, ‘Calgary’.

Steve said, ‘No’.

It was now my shot to speak up and claim those tickets that in some unexplainable way, I already felt were mine.

But…

I stayed frozen. A woman excitedly yelled, ‘Ontario!’

A few seconds later, reality hit me. I hadn’t spoken my truth. I hadn’t claimed what was mine. I was baffled. And upset.

As Steve gave his presentation, the energy within me grew. I had to redeem myself, for myself. I had to show myself that I honored my intuition and that I was worthy of abundance.

At the end of the presentation as Steve exited the stage, I followed him.

When I caught up to him he was signing autographs for a small group of people. When I could, I went up to him and blabbed and blubbered some version of this, ‘I believe in signs and synchronicities… I’m from Boston… I knew the answer… My husband had to give up Lightning tickets because he was in the hospital… I couldn’t let you leave without honoring my intuition…’

Steve (unlike me) was straight to the point, ‘Do you want tickets?’

And I claimed what was mine, ‘Yes, yes I do.’

The next thing I knew, Steve gave me his cell phone # and asked that I text him. Shortly after I had four club seat tickets for the Lightning versus Ducks game that included unlimited food and drinks. I thought this game would be even better than if we saw the Bruins as my hubby had another week to heal.

A week later my family and I went to the game and we had an amazing time (my hubby especially was so appreciative), and the Lightning beat the Ducks in overtime to clinch the playoffs.

Thanks to this experience, I’ve been reminded to:

  • Claim what’s mine
  • Trust my intuition
  • Not worry about what others think

I’ve also remembered that it’s never too late to take action and make something I want happen.

I’m hoping you’ll remember these lessons too.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use to attract abundance, ‘I attract abundance with ease. I’m a magnet for opportunities to give and receive.’

PPS – For us to receive abundance, we also need to take action towards finding that abundance (after all we are co-creating with the universe). Grab your pen and journal. What areas of your life would you like to see more abundance? Career opportunities? Travel opportunities? Finances? Once you’ve identified a few areas, identify what actions you’re already taking towards your goals (i.e. you’re applying for 10 jobs a week; taking college classes to help drive up your skill level). Give thanks to all you’re doing (positive vibes helps abundance find us). Next, identify new ways you can take action. How can you enhance your mindset on the subject, perhaps becoming more positive and open-minded that what you want is coming your way? How can you learn more in the area you want to experience more abundance? What steps can you take to better position yourself to receive abundance (i.e. if you’re looking for love, make sure you have a plan to be out of the house and more social so you can meet new people). Now make your list a reality.

I’ve Been Talking To My Pinky Toe

We’re starting this blog with a flashback. Picture this: It’s around noon on a weekend, I’m maybe seven years old, and it’s time for lunch. I march down to the cellar – barefooted – to snag a glass bottle of apple juice for lunchtime. Apple juice secured. As I turn back toward the stairs, I slip and the glass bottle falls, shattering everywhere. One of the glass chards cuts through my pinky toe so bad that I lose feeling in it permanently.

Fast forward: I’m adjusting to crutches jammed into my armpits for months, and I’m basically learning how to walk againNo fun!

And now: Ever since that incident, I haven’t been able to move my pinky toe. And while the pinky toe may be the smallest, it’s actually one of the most crucial toes in helping us maintain our balance.

Over the years, I’ve experienced more and more problems with my equilibrium. My hip issues and the way I teeter while I walk are thanks to my lunchtime adventure for the golden juice gone wrong.

About eight months ago, realizing I didn’t want my issues to get any worse, I started talking to my pinky toe, hoping to get it to move.

“Come on. You can do it. Just move a little, for me.”

“I believe in you. I believe in self-healing. We can do this.”

Most times I’d talk to my toe in my mind, but every now and then as I put on my socks or as I’d get ready for bed, I’d speak to my toe out loud.

I didn’t see progress, but I didn’t give up. I kept at it as I know the power of self-healing. I’ve cured myself of regular headaches. PTSD. Arthritis. And more. I was able to heal myself with a combination of believing I had the power to do so, making needed lifestyle changes and consistently showing up for myself: mind, body and soul.

Recently (drum roll, please!), I made a huge milestone on my pinky toe healing journey. I can now move it about 50-60% of the time when I ask it to move. Amazing right? After thirty years, my body has healed a bit. And while I still have more growth ahead, I’m happy with my progress and have noticed myself walking with more heel-to-toe symmetry on both my right and left side. Among other things this has alleviated some of my back pain. Thank you, God.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with self-healing, this whole ‘I found healing by asking my pinky toe to show signs of life’ thing may seem bonkers. I get it. If this wasn’t my reality, I’d think it was bonkers too. But I promise you, self-healing is real and you don’t need to be an expert to cure yourself.

The #1 thing you can do if you’d like to heal an ailment is to shift your perspective and believe you can heal. Once you tell yourself you can and believe you can, anything is possible.

There’s tons of research out there on self-healing. I’ll let you find what resonates with you if you’re interested, but I will recommend Amy B. Scher’s book, How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can: A Total Self-Healing Approach for Mind, Body & Soul if want to learn more about the healing possibilities you hold.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use to remind yourself that you have the power to heal, ‘With the peace, belief and purpose I hold, anything is possible.’

PPS – Sometimes we protect ourselves from believing in something because we’re afraid to get hurt if the thing we believe in doesn’t come true. If you’re holding onto fear, grab your pen and journal so that you can work to release it. What are you scared to believe in? What’s your perceived risk in believing in this thing? What’s the worst that could happen if you believed but it didn’t come true? Now what’s the best thing that could happen if you put your fears to the side and started to believe?

Let’s Celebrate

It’s been a year since I started this blog. Every week for the last year, I’ve set aside some time to write (well, except when I had Covid… and that one time I completely forgot what day it was… Life happens. This ‘being human’ thing can be terrific and turbulent all at once!).

As I reflect on this big milestone, I’m proud of myself. I’m proud I’ve been open and honest. For starting something and sticking to it. For putting out some much-needed positive vibes into the world.

Although it hasn’t always been easy (Eek! Should I really click ‘Send’? Will people judge me? Ugh. Do I have the time to write?), it’s been healing to put my life on the page and it’s been soul-fulfilling to connect with you in this intimate way. To know I have in some way given you a boost, insight or perspective warms my heart. Thank you sincerely for your readership and thanks for sharing this blog with others. I’m amazed at how well received it is and how fast it’s grown.

And I have to say is this: Cheers to you for working hard to break judgment habits, tapping into your intuition, and thinking and being bigger. Onward!

To celebrate my one-year blogging anniversary, I went down memory lane and selected some of my favorite blogs, listed below. I hope you’ll check them out, reread them and share them with your network as part of the celebration.
 
Expect more typos from me     

  • This is where it all began. My first blog post! And the message is still near-and-dear to my heart: We need to kick perfectionism to the curb.

Liar, liar, my pants were on fire

  • Have you made a parenting mistake? Have you misjudged someone? Yup! Me too. What’s the moral of this story? Try not to judge others. Try not to fib. Own up to your mistakes when you can. And yes, I know, it’s easier said than done.

It’s not about you

  • I regularly struggle with my self-worth and need for validation from others. This blog post captures an important “ah-ha!” moment where I received an important reminder: Trust in myself. While I am not one to toot my own horn, the learning and the writing in this one is profound.

Do healing your own way

  • I am madly in love with my husband and appreciate when I can bring him into my art. This is a beautiful story of how we are all different and how we need to take care of ourselves based on what is best for us – not what the world tells us we need.

How I navigate impostor syndrome

  • Helping others navigate impostor syndrome energizes me. It’s as simple as that. 

From shame to acceptance: it’s possible

  • If I was handing out awards to myself, this would win the ‘Bravery Award’. This is the first time I had been truly transparent about my herpes type 1 (HSV-1).

The weird is your oyster

  • And since I’m giving out awards (yes, I officially just made that a thing), this one wins the ‘Most Fun to Write Award’. It’s not everyday that I let my freak flag fly so high, and I loved every second of writing this blog and sharing it with the world.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Since I can’t have you over for a champagne toast (how fun does that sound?) let’s celebrate in a different way. Here’s a one-time use 50% off coupon code you can use if you’d like to book a mediumship or intuitive coaching call with meCoupon code: CELEBRATE.

PPS – Thanks again for being YOU. For reading. For putting in the hard work to make yourself and this world a better place. You inspire me to keep writing – and to keep going.

Take Real Perceptions Over Blind Assumptions

A dear friend finally found the courage to share a piece of her writing with me. I had been asking for about a year, anxiously awaiting to experience her art. So when a piece of her writing hit my inbox, I was over the moon.

I wanted to make sure I gave her writing the focus and care it deserved, so I put it aside until I could fully enjoy it.

When I sat down four or so days later to read her work, I was not disappointed. Her piece was (and is) transporting. It’s deep with many layers written in a beautiful poetic prose with just the right pace. I wrote her back and told her all of this and encouraged her to submit it to a literary journal. Her response back to me: ‘Phew, I was worried you didn’t like it. I thought maybe that’s why you didn’t write back sooner.’

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Her reply reminded me that I had done the same exact thing just a few weeks ago. I gave an intuitive coaching session to a friend of a friend. I felt like I nailed it and she confirmed that with super nice praise and a warm thanks. A few days later, knowing she was happy with my services, I sent her an email and asked if she’d write me a testimonial. After a few days went by and I didn’t hear from her, I worried I had done something wrong in our session and that perhaps our time together wasn’t as impactful as she claimed it to me.

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Three weeks later, the friend of a friend wrote me back with a cheerful, “Hey Danielle. I just got back from a long and needed vacay. I still think about our session often. It was so insightful. Here’s a testimonial…’ And that testimonial was so positive and touching, it brought me to tears.

Since you’re still reading, I’m guessing this may be you too. That you worry about what others think. That you doubt your gifts and abilities. That you think if something happens or doesn’t happen it’s because of you.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to help you quiet your inner doubt when sharing your gifts with the world, “Like attracts like. The right people are attracted to my ideas, passions, offerings, and energy.”

PPS – One of the best ways to combat self-doubt is to remember how awesome we are. Grab a pen and journal. Fill in this list with your accomplishments – think both big and small:

In the last 7 years, I accomplished XXX
In the last year, I accomplished XXX
In the last month, I accomplished XXX
Today, I accomplished XXX

Do Healing Your Own Way

My hubby Ron is a project coordinator for maintenance operations at our local hospital. Yes, I know, he is a total badass. The other week, Ron received an emergency request to build bunk beds (of sort) for the morgue so they could have more space for the bodies. Rest in peace you beautiful souls.

Ron, whose biggest fear is dying… Ron, who has never been inside a room full of lifeless bodies, was asked to enter the morgue to take measurements… And he did. He spent the rest of the day building those beds.

When Ron came home, he was drained and overwhelmed – rightfully so!

I – being the kind and yes, overprotective and loveably overbearing person I am – started an impromptu coaching session.

Me: “That was a lot for you to take on today. Are you taking care of yourself?’’

Ron: “Yes, babe. I’m trying.”

Me: “Good. What exactly are you doing for you? To make sure you’re not letting the heaviness of your job weigh you down?”

Ron: “Today I had an ice cream sandwich and me and the guys were making fun of each other all day.” He chuckled like he remembered one of the jokes he cracked.

Now, I have to admit, my own self-healing go-to’s look nothing like Ron’s – I’m more of a take a long walk, read a book, and relax with an epsom salt bath kind of person. So while part of me wanted to suggest one of these, seeing Ron’s shoulders relaxed and his eyes gleam when he recalled the way he cared for himself told me that satisfying his sweet tooth and picking on his friends was the absolute best remedy for his hard and emotional day.

And with that, I had nothing else to say besides, “Good for you babe. I’m so proud of you.” I had no spiritual guidance to give him. No intuitive guru advice. No ‘here’s an affirmation to help you…’ wisdom. Sure, I could have suggested meditation or a crystal bath or journaling, but Ron didn’t need to do anything different or anything more. He, in my opinion, handled the day and his self-care perfectly.

With that being said, do healing your own way. Whatever feels right to you and helps you through the day, that is what you should be doing.

Ron – Thank you for always opening my perspective and heart. I love you.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – It can be overwhelming when the world is telling you one thing but your intuition is telling you another. When in doubt, use this affirmation, “Only I know what’s best for me.

PPS – Do you have enough self-care in your day? If you’re not sure, grab a pen and journal for this activity. For the next few days, right down everything you do that feels like a treat to yourself. This could be watching a guilty-pleasure show, chatting with a friend on the phone, attending a dance class, cooking yourself a nice meal (not because you have to, but because you want to). Was capturing everything you do for yourself easy? If not, maybe you need to do more for you.

Why You Need A ‘No’ To Get A ‘Yes’

I get rejected – a lot. I’d be lying if I told you it doesn’t hurt. Even though I know my worth. Even though I’ve experienced rejection thousands of times: it still stings. When I get a ‘no’ all over again I feel like I’m the last kid left in fifth grade gym class while the jock groans because he has to pick me for his kickball team.

But even though the rejection hurts, I continue to put myself in a position to get rejected again, and again, and again. And here’s why. Without a ‘no’ I’ll never get a ‘yes’. If I don’t play the game, there’s a 0% shot I’ll win – and I want to win. And because I don’t let the discomfort of rejection win, I get to enjoy success.

Here’s a quick look at some of my professional rejections over the last few months:

  • Dozens of journals and magazines rejected my personal essay(s) that I hoped to have published in their respective outlets.
  • I reached out to an author I admire who is a friend of a friend. I was excited for a phone call to ask her some publishing questions (I’m finishing up my memoir on my Dark Night of the Soul experience) and to discuss collaboration opportunities. I never heard back from her.
  • I received several no’s and zero responses to collaboration ideas and podcast pitches; some no’s were even from people I know and have a strong relationship with.

And here’s a quick look at some of my professional successes I’ve had over the last few months:

Without me putting myself out there and risking a bruised ego, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to celebrate these many successes. 

Remember, nothing worth having comes easy. Go after your dreams and when needed, dust yourself off and try again.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when you’re feeling nervous about getting rejected, “What’s meant to be is already mine.”

PPS – Are you still uncomfortable with the possibility of getting rejected? If so, grab your pen and journal. Oftentimes, we look at rejection as a bad thing, but sometimes it can be a gift in disguise. Think back to a time you were rejected. Maybe you didn’t get the job you wanted or the cute guy you asked out said no. Although in the moment the rejection hurt, did it redirect you? Did you find an even better job or partner? Jot down as many ‘rejection is redirection’ moments as you can to remind yourself that rejections isn’t all bad.

I made a mistake

A few weeks ago, I made an admin mistake at one of the colleges where I work. I won’t bore you with the mechanics of what I did (or more accurately what I didn’t do), but know I was in charge of something and dropped the ball. As a result, some students and teachers were unhappy.

When my boss sent me an email to bring my mistake to my attention, I:

  1. Read it and felt embarrassed and sorry
  2. Apologized and offered to rectify the situation
  3. Showed myself empathy and forgiveness and moved on quickly from the situation

While #1 and #2 didn’t surprise me (after all, I take great pride in my work), #3 did. As someone who has worked really, really hard to break self-judgment habits, I expected to dive into some form of self-bashing after #2:

“Danielle, how could you? Can’t you get anything right? What’s wrong with you?”

But instead, I marveled at how gentle I was with myself and how naturally #3 came. There wasn’t a single anxious heartbeat or bead of nervous sweat. My inner voice said, “Danielle, you’ve had a lot on your mind and it’s easy to understand how you made a mistake. Don’t even worry about it.” This felt amazing! It was as if I had my best friend there saying all the right things to me – and my best friend was me.

I wanted to share my snafu turned self-love story with you as a reminder that:

  1. You’re going to make mistakes too. Rather than be shocked when they pop up, let’s just agree to expect them moving forward. Even if you are caught off-guard, that’s okay! Honor the fact that you’re doing the best you can and show yourself care and compassion always, through the ups, the downs and the mistakes.
  2. The hard work you put in to break your self-judgment habits will pay off. Self-peace and self-love is possible. Just like I have, you can heal from your self-bullying and retrain your brain to be more open-minded and supportive.
  3. If you need help quieting your inner-critic, here’s my Guide to Combatting Self-Criticism.
  4. And don’t forget, I’m available for intuitive coaching sessions as well.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when you’ve made a mistake, “I won’t let a mistake define my day, week – or life.”

PPS – Do you want some hands-on writing activities to help you work through your self-criticism? Don’t forget to check out my Guide to Combatting Self-Criticism.

Are you having fun?

As I was scrolling through Instagram, a post caught my eye. It asked, “How many books have you read in your lifetime?” Pondering that question, I got emotional.

If I counted the number of how-to books I’ve read on becoming a better something or other: a better leader, a better negotiator, a better communicator, more productive, more influential…

And

If I counted the number of required reading books from bosses (I spent 13 years in Corporate America) and professors (13 years in college), I’ve probably consumed… Oh gosh… maybe 1,500 or so books.

But…

If I don’t count those and just add up books I’ve solely read for fun and enjoyment – because I wanted to, no hidden agenda, no trying to be better, no one assigning me the reading – I’d bet the number is around 100 or so. Maybe 150 if I’m being generous to myself (which I always try to do).

And that is why I got emotional. You see, most of my adult life was focused on egoYou gotta get to the top Danielle! Improve, improve, improve! There’s no time for fun… fun is a waste of time!

Fortunately, this isn’t me anymore.

Three years ago, when I was 33, I lost my job. That loss sparked a Dark Night of the Soul, a period of depression and a burgeoning spiritual awakening. I was forced to look at my life with fresh eyes: I was a workaholic using external validation and to-do’s as a way to distract myself from healing past traumas and stepping into my TrueMe.

For the first time in my life and because of this Dark Night, I put in the hard work. I journaled. I spent more time in nature. I had difficult (and needed) conversations. I worked closely with spiritual mentors.

My efforts eventually showed me how to have fun. I read, wrote, watched TV, played games and did many other things for the simple enjoyment of it. I realized fun is anything but a waste of time. It’s a creative reset. It’s restorative. It teaches. It’s one of the most authentic ways to experience and honor life.

The last three years, I’ve read about 50 of those 150ish books. I’ve savored novels and memoirs that explore things I care about: spirituality, family, sex, love, transformation. And I’ve consumed a few how-to books too; not out of ego, but because the TrueMe wanted to learn something that would feed my soul.

From my story, here’s what I hope you walk away with: Have fun! Travel. Take that cooking or ballroom or guitar class. Read that fantasy or sci-fi or self-help book. You don’t have to wait for your Dark Night to evaluate your priorities. Be proactive and prioritize what really matters. Your soul and your “books read” list will thank you.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this newsletter to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to remind you to have fun, ‘I honor life by finding and creating joy, playfulness and celebration.

PPS – Has it been a while since you reflected on and prioritized fun?  If so, grab your journal and a pen. Take a few minutes and reflect on your childhood. What things did you like to do? Camping? Catching frogs? Doodling? Singing? Try and come up with as many things as possible. Once you have a full list, reflect on which of those have been missing in your life. Next, figure how to make those things a reality.

Learn by doing

For the last few years, I’ve been intentionally hermitting, focused on going inward so I could finish my memoir about my Dark Night of the Soul. My debut book is about my spiritually guided journey to heal past wounds, mend important relationships in my life and rekindle my marriage after I lost my job unexpectedly. Now that the first draft of the book is complete, I’ve started coming out of my shell to offer the world my wisdom and healing from my Dark Night through a variety of means such as this newsletter, workshops and private 1 x 1’s with clients.

A 2021 goal of mine was to start guest-appearing on podcasts to share my messages of forgiveness, healing and love even further. Although I was nervous to put myself out there over the airwaves (especially after the hermitting), I began listening to podcasts with audiences I hoped would connect with my message.

That’s when I came across The Quantum Shift podcast and noticed a friend of mine had been a guest. I listened to her episode and knew I wanted to be a part of that heart-centered energy, an energy filled with curiosity, support and empathy. I reached out to my friend to connect me to Shawna Pelton, the host. Next thing I knew, I was filling out forms to be featured on her show. I swear it was meant to be because Shawna connected to my message and invited me on.  

On the big day to record Episode 40, I felt prepared for our Zoom session. I made sure I looked the part (hairspray to tame my crazy fly-aways, foundation powder to control my oily face). I ensured there’d be no distractions (Thank you, Puppy Palace, for taking care of Charlie!). And I tested my equipment ahead of time.

During the podcast, I was in heaven. Shawna created a comfortable environment, asked thought-provoking questions and beautifully added her own wisdom and touch to the conversation. But by the end, I had mixed emotions.  I was proud of putting myself out there. Proud of speaking my truth. Proud of doing what I could to help people navigate their darkness to find their light, but…

I was also embarrassed. Among many things I could have done better (note to self: don’t clap into the mic and don’t overtalk about yourself) I interrupted the calm and patient Shawna at least twice.

For the next few days, all the ‘good’ my message would achieve didn’t matter to me. Instead, I walked around with a yucky feeling in my stomach. Even drinking my favorite tea couldn’t settle me. I gave myself pep talks in hopes of finding calm, “Danielle, this was your first podcast appearance. Brush it off! Shawna knows your heart. The two of you left off in a great place. The audience will understand your enthusiasm.” Although I was saying the right things to myself, the messages weren’t hitting the spot.

Finally, after mulling around my disappointments for days, I finally pieced together the pep talk I needed thanks to Dan Blank’s podcast episode ‘Why I Create and Share’ that focused on the importance of learning by doing. The words of wisdom I finally gave myself sounded like this, “Danielle, you went in with love, not ego. You interrupted out of excitement and inexperience (and being a hermit for a few years). You were a kid in a candy store, jumping for joy, elated to be speaking to a like-minded individual… Your intention was pure.”

Once I reminded myself of my intention, my mistakes no longer mattered as much, and the self-judgement melted away.

What are you beating yourself up over? Was your intention pure?

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Sincerely,

Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to encourage you to “live and learn”, to enjoy and reflect on what brings you happiness without falling into self-doubt: “I am trying new things and creating a brighter reality; I believe in what feels good to my soul, and I am intentional in all that I do.”

PPS – It’s so easy for us to hyper-focus on our mistakes and fixate on what we could have done better in the moment. Here’s a journal prompt to shift your focus a bit and put you in a positive growth mindset: Think about some of your most recent accomplishments and write them down. These could range from winning an award at work to adding an extra mile onto your daily walk. Then, consider the efforts that went into achieving these things and jot those down. Did you work late a few nights a week? Did you give yourself daily pep talks? Did you sacrifice TV time? While you’re journaling, do your best to not let self-criticizing thoughts pop into your head, such as ‘I could have done better.’

Annnnnnd – Don’t forget to support my first ever podcast appearance and get to know the talented and soulful Shawna. Be sure to listen to Episode #40 Move Beyond the Dark Night of the Soul on The Quantum Shift.

A higher version of YOU

A higher version of YOU

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