Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jumping the Highs to Skip the Lows


I am having a kick-ass day today. My heart is open. I am calm within. I am breathing deeply, smiling with fervour, taking it all in stride. I love days like this. And yet inside there's a little squeaky voice that whispers "Enjoy it while it lasts!". And I really want to shut her up...tell her to "Beat it!". But I know better.

She's right.

Chances are that this high will last a few days and trust me, I will soak up every little drop. I will feel the love and reflect it back to all who cross my path. I will. But I know I am healing. I am forgiving. I am slowly letting go. And I know that this means there will be days where all the stuff I have declared I am ready to deal with will come back. It bubble up to the surface and smacks me in the face (lovingly of course).

And so...

I go there. I sink down to feel the hurt, to absorb the nastiness. And I sit and observe it all with a loving awareness. I know that only love is real and that all this other stuff is me thinking wrongly...me thinking that events, people and circumstances were against me. Because of course that is not true. It's all good. It's all for me to grow in love and to become clearer about how to serve the world.

So I don't jump the highs to skip the lows. I did that. It doesn't work. I used food, boyfriends and booze. None of it worked. There's something about this path though that gives me hope. I know I've stumbled onto something here. While trying to skip a puddle, I fell and found love there. Love was there in a muddy, stinky puddle. Yes indeed, it was there all along.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Pragmatist and The Poet


There's a part of me with an agenda. This part wants to go, go, go! Gotta get it done...gotta move. This part says write more, tweet more, post more! She's all about results. She's focused on the feedback. She's not a feeler; she's a do-er.

And in the background lies another part.

The creator. The dreamer. The one who is inspired. The one who wants to take her time...to feel it out. The one who will not rush perfection. The one who will not take fingers to keyboard until the spirit moves her. She's the one with the story to tell. She holds all the cards.

And often I sit back and let them fight it out.

They both love me. They both want what is best. They want us to grow; to inspire; to share that which longs to be shared! It's my job to bring them together. It's important I let motivation meet inspiration. They are both needed...both appreciated. One cannot live without the other. One cannot shine without the other.

The pragmatist and the poet can coexist in me. They carry me forth! And though the latter may exhaust me with her nagging, and the former may make me roll my eyes with her ideals, I embrace them both. They are me. And together we make things happen. We shake it up. We roll.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You're Not Ready and That's OK


You're pumped. You've got it now. You know that you are meant to shine. You know that you are going to lead, to inspire and to empower. You can see it all laid out before you. There's nothing you can't do! And yet...

Within you're still scared. Within you still hold anger. Within you still feel like you have something to prove.

And so your light still shines, but there's something about it. There's something forced, something strained, something not quite true...because you hold back. And you are loved and we see your capacity for courageous authenticity. We see it!

Perhaps though, you're not ready and that's ok.

And let me be clear. We want you to speak. We want you to share your gifts! You are so needed and we value your voice. But it's ok to be broken. It's ok to be lost. It's ok to admit you're not quite sure and that you don't always feel your worthiness.

People will still come. People will still listen. And they shall surely be moved!

Because it's real. Because you are honest! We feel it. We feel the struggle and are awed by the victory...inspired by the lesson learned!

You are so loved my dear. And if you're not ready, it's ok. Do it anyway and tell us that too. And one day it will all be effortless. One day you and your truth will be one and the same: one light shining and showing the way...telling us what is possible.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When You Are What You Do


We spend so much of our childhoods thinking of what we will be when we grow up. We toss around so many ideas. I know for myself my options ran the gamut between ballerina, taxidermist, actress, translator and dermatologist! In my mind I was a well-rounded young woman ;) When we actually get there though...when we arrive at the precipice that is Senior Year, it gets scary....it gets real. We think that what we choose for college determines with absolute certainty the unfolding of our adult life. It, of course, does not. It sets a tone perhaps, but it's all good.

What can make it messy is when our egos get involved. After college is over and the job hunt begins, we can become much too attached to what comes our way. We can begin to make who we are as an extension of our job. Really though, the opposite is what is needed. The world needs people whose work is an extension of who they are.

So what's the difference? Feeling.

I used to work in research. I thought it was a good job and I definitely worked with people who LOVED what they did and were damn good at it. I was not one of those people. I convinced myself I was though. At the age of 27, I even considered putting off having a 2nd child because I knew my boss wouldn't like it. Insane? Perhaps. Uncommon? Good God no. My feelings surrounding this research job were rooted in fear. I desperately sought approval from bosses and colleagues alike and truly felt like I could not find a better job.

Hog wash!

Once I was finally able to put all that validation-seeking, wretched, fear-filled ego stuff aside, my purpose started appearing in little glimpses here and there. I decided that my misery wasn't worth any perceived prestige surrounding the job. There was a strong feeling within me knowing there was something better.

It didn't come right away. I made a few mistakes and that's OK. I had moments of doubt ultimately superseded by moments of unwavering faith! I knew it would come. I knew I had to slowly let go of what I thought I should be doing. As I did that it became clearer and clearer.

I love to write. I am good at it. I am a writer. In that order. The moment I cease to LOVE to write, the latter 2 statements become false. End of story.

In the meantime though, I write. It is an extension of who I am. I am what I do and I love it. I live what I love.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Love At Your Back


When I finally admitted to myself that which my soul knew all along I sighed. It was as if, in an instant, my whole body just relaxed. That important concession was this: I am not alone. None of us are alone. And this is so incredible to know! What is it you want to do? What do you feel compelled to share today? And now that you are aware of this loving energy that surrounds you, can you approach your task with confidence? Can you face your world with determination now?

For too long I wallowed. I lamented that life was hard...that I would have to struggle and succumb to that which I did not desire to do. This is a lie. We are not victims of life, we are conscious creators of it. All that surrounds you was created by you. You, with your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, vibration made all that is within your grasp.

So now the question is: are you happy with your creation? If not, may I suggest a conscious life partnership? I speak not of husband nor wife, but of a co-creation with the spirit that moves you. There is a loving force that some call God, others the Universe, or intuition or Allah or Krishna. (I could go on. We have great love for that which bestow many names!) And you may be helped by this force at anytime.

Just be willing.
And then breathe.
Ask for help.
Listen.
Be patient.
Listen.
And then one day...

You will wake up with a knowing so deep and so pure that you will want to cry out! Or maybe for you it will be slow-brewing faith. However it shows up for you is unimportant, but I can promise you this: when that sweet knowing shows up, you will recognize it for what it is...the truth. And the truth is that we are not alone. You go through life guided. You approach every situation with a force that has only your highest and best interest at heart. You spread your wings with love at your back. And with that, my friend, you fly.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

I Heart Truth


It has been an endeavour of mine these past 11 months to speak the truth...to acknowledge what is and to not hold back. I realized just a few minutes ago that I have. I have held back.

Money.

The possession of it, the lack of it, the spending of it has been a recurring theme in my life with my husband. We had a mindset that led us to believe we never had enough and that there was always something on the horizon that would keep us from saving or getting ahead in any way.

Such lies.

The truth is that the only thing standing between us and financial abundance was, well...us! As long as we felt like we were lacking, that would be our experience. It has not mattered if we have both been employed, one of us unemployed, being sued, or on parental leave; we have always had enough. No one has ever come with an eviction notice, and our cars have never been towed away in the middle of the night. (And if this is your reality it is merely a stronger, louder lesson.) We did however get the phone calls, had to borrow from parents and took out way too much credit. This we did because we were not listening...were not paying attention. We are always taken care of, loved, encouraged and empowered by the Universe.

Not just us...you too.

There were always lessons waiting in the wings. We could ignore them, deny them, but they would keep coming on and would grow in intensity. Our lesson was: you have more than enough; you can pursue your dream, we need you to do so. This showed up in many ways: loss of jobs, larger than normal bills, unexpected cheques, lawsuits, chance meetings, inspirational books etc. These things happen everyday and if we actually pay attention, the miracles can occur!

It just keeps getting better.

While living in the red for so long took its toll emotionally, physically and spiritually, it taught us some HUGE lessons about how the Universe works. You get what you give. We feel prosperous. We have deep appreciation for all that exists in our lives at this very moment. We have a strong need to give back, to serve. As a result, our lives and our bank balances are drastically changed. The truth is like that. And my truth is: I have more than enough and I always have.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Big Things


A few months ago I sent a card to a friend saying: “We are meant for BIG things.” At the time that note came out of a vision I had had. The vision was of a book authored by my friend with an endorsement from me on the back. This vision excited me. It felt real and it still does. I saw success; I saw achievement; I saw peace.

The realization I had today was this: I’m already doing big things. (And so is my friend by the way.) I’ve been doing big things ever since I made the decision to stop living small. For me this happened as soon as I made the choice to quit a job I did not enjoy in pursuit of something better: in pursuit of cultivating my God-given talents, my purpose. I was starting to shine my light in a much bigger way than ever before.

And now I am setting an example for my children. I am being the person I am meant to be and since I want no less than that for them, this is huge. They can count on me to be honest. I have nothing to hide. And the reality is that I learn so much more about myself & life being at home with them than I ever did in 6 years of working in offices.

If I am going to teach anyone about living my truth I want it to be my children.

I have no need for fame. I do, however, want the message to be famous and I am willing to be a messenger for self-love and truth. There are a lot of people who need to be woken up and I say it here and now: it begins at home. I do this inner work at home and it spreads from there. It multiplies!

Oh yes I am doing big things! Woven in with the tea parties, the diaper changes and the bedtime stories are countless moments of love and peace. The message that we create our own lives and that only love is real is going viral and I am honoured to be a part of spreading that bug!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Because It's Time


You have come so far. All you have done has been done to get you here. None of it has been wasted. You have done what you needed to do...nothing less than that. It's all profound; it's all worthwhile, because it has led you here. And on this precipice it dawns on you: the time is now.

It is time to look within. It is time to question: Why do I do what I do? Because there is a way to live deeper. There is a way to do what only you can, but you have to let go. Let go of what you think is expected of you and begin to set your own expectations. Love those who think they know what's best for you and thank them for their view as you smile and know that truly this is your quest. Only you decide.

But this is a collaborative Universe. So get ready to let Love in! Because once you decide it's time to live to the fullest, you'll soon discover you're not on your own. You have free will, but there a breeze that rustles your scarf...a wind that whips through your coat. It moves you. And if you are willing, it moves you toward your highest good.

So let go. Because it's time. You are loved; you were loved all along. And now that you are awake, let's get dressed and let's go to work.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rock It.


Let us find out what it is we are meant to do and then let us rock it. Because you were meant for big things. Did you know that about yourself? Did you know that you were meant to share your light with the world? And you say to me: "That all sounds wonderful Danielle but I have responsibilities. I have a mortgage!". And I say yes, yes you do. And you also have a soul.

So how about sitting still for a few minutes? How about getting quiet and asking yourself "What do I love? What brings me joy?"? Start to awaken that sleeping giant of a person within. You know, the one you thought you'd become when you were 5...before the ideals of an unhappy society told you there was no way. Because there is a way. There always is.

Perhaps it's a slow process...a slow brewing of love. You take your time. You make little steps toward your joy each day. Perhaps it means that you become happier at your current job and with your current partner. Or maybe it means you up and leave it all behind. Still another possibility is that your truth lies somewhere in the middle of all that. Only you can know for sure. More happiness, more joy, more passion though...that is the goal. Because these things spread like a virus and surely joy is a virus we all need!

So ask...not your neighbour, not your mother, not your friend, not your mentor...ask yourself. What am I to do in this world? What is it that will uplift me so that I may uplift? And then listen. You may hear it right then and there, or it may show up later. But listen. Pay attention. Let us discover that which is buried; let us unearth it for all to see and let us rock it.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Hold Back No More


I used to glide blindly. I used to hum along. I barely breathed at all. My mission was "to get through"....to get through the day, to get through the traffic, to get through life. The things I looked forward to were meals, or drinks or house parties or TV shows. While I think that these are all lovely diversions, they are not living. Living is shining. Living is expressing.

My soul bubbles and churns. It is constantly creating and recreating. It waits for me to open my eyes to the truth of who I am. My soul longs for me to acknowledge what needs to be shown to the world. And I am not special. Your soul cries out just as mine does. I have decided to listen.

No longer will I hide out. No longer will I deny who I am. I am a loving, giving spirit with a gift for writing. I am a writer.

Sure I have dabbled in things...sales, customer service, social media, nutrition...but what lights me up, what quickens my pulse, what excites me is writing!

So when someone asks me: "And what do you do Danielle?", I will speak the truth. "Well Bob, I am a writer." There. No more "Uh, well it's complicated." or "Um I'm home with my kids." No! I hold back no more. I surrender to my soul and I tell the unabashed, beautiful truth. I, Danielle Boonstra, am a writer. This is me living. This is what I will pursue until the day that I die.

Friday, September 10, 2010

One of a Kind


I realized today that I dislike the term "nice". I have been called nice all of my life. "Danielle is a nice girl." What does that really mean though? Danielle complies. Danielle doesn't argue. Danielle tells you what you want to hear. Yes, that's what it means.

And in truth, I deserved the term for that is how I acted. Of course I had my brief moments of boldness, but mainly, I played nice. It's a defense mechanism right? If I let you believe I love everything about you, you'll love me back. We'll never fight and all will be well. This is love right? Love is pretending...right? Because if you knew who I really was...if you knew how nervous, how unsure, how silly I can be you would surely run - fast - in the other direction. So to protect myself, to protect our love, I'll be nice. I will be who I think I need to be so that you never find out who I am.

How well did this work for me? In short, it didn't. Most people are smarter than that. They can sniff out insincerity a mile away. What I know now is that I was born to be a certain way in the world and that if I deny that, I deny the world. I deprive those around me of truth, of love and of perfection. And so while I refuse to be nice, I resolve to be kind. It is in my nature to be so as it is in yours. I can be kind and be myself completely. I can be kind and agree with not a word you say. This is how it is. Take it or leave it. And you if you leave it, meh...I love you anyway.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Patience is Not Waiting


GUEST POST by: Stan Sanderson

“What most of us dislike about being patient―is the waiting!”

…which is not one of our favorite things to do. Patience requires that we stop all current activity, both talking about and worrying about whatever it is, and trusting that it will resolve appropriately in due course. They tell us that patience is a virtue. But most of us see it as a pain in the butt. We hate to wait!

However, in reality, patience has absolutely nothing to do with waiting! On the contrary, if we practice patience by waiting, we have not stopped all current activity―we’re waiting! And, because we’re actively waiting, we’ll be aware that whatever we’re waiting for hasn’t happened yet. Then, rather than experiencing the quiet detachment, which is inherent in the actual practice of patience, we’re stuck with the frustration of having to wait!

And, of course, as we recognize that we’re waiting, and that nothing has happened yet, we begin the process of rethinking the whole idea, and trying to establish a new plan of action. Maybe there’s something we’ve overlooked that could make things happen sooner―like now for instance! Or, perhaps someone else has a suggestion or an answer that would get the ball rolling. Oh, how we hate to wait!


Patience―is not waiting! Patience is having decided that we’ve done all that could reasonably be done at the moment, and that whatever is next to happen, will happen at the appropriate time, and we let go of all activity―including waiting―until it does. Patience is indeed a virtue, and a true expression of faith in action. Patience is a blissful “now” experience, which carries no anxiety or concern about the eventual outcome. Otherwise it’s just waiting―and we hate to wait! Try it, and see what happens! God blesses you.
---
The Spiritual Coach
55 Museum Drive # 608
Orillia, Ontario L3V 7T9
(705) 327-8029

www.thespiritualcoach.net
coach@thespiritualcoach.net
www.youtube.com/stansanderson

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Friday, August 20, 2010

If I Can Be of Service


My interests have changed a lot in the past couple years. I have changed. Different people surround me now and yet a lot of those who I have loved for so long are still here too. There is a lovely balance that is being brought back to my life. I can mix the old with the new and love it all. I hide out no longer and the truth feels AMAZING.

Being surrounded by various people with their own missions and agendas can get a little overwhelming for us though. At least I know it can for me. I like my time with my husband & children and I also love time alone. This means I can get a little choosy when it comes to how I spend any remaining time. So my inner guide helps me along.

And now instinctively I think: If I can be of service, then yes, I will do this. It has helped so much and allows me to move through my life without guilt and without regret. When I choose to do something, it is with the intention that I am helping another and that there are loving consequences to this. My time is precious as is yours. We need to bring as much love as possible to any given situation and we cannot do that if we're doing something we do not really want to. To quote Jewel: "No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from". Think: What's driving me here? If you are coming from a place of guilt or seeking approval, rethink it.

But if you can be of service, consider it. If there is a way to apply the gifts you have in order to help someone out, give it a shot. This is why we are here. And this is what makes us feel good. We all want to be loved and noticed but we often go about this in very unhealthy ways. So this is a good gut-check. If I can be of service and can approach this task with love, then let's do it. Let's work together. Let's shine a light in the dark. Let's change the world.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Take the Arm and Be Led


I'm just going to say it: You matter. You are not just here to answer phones, wipe baby bums, mow lawns or pump gas. You are a gifted, talented child of the Universe and we need you. Drown out those self-defeating thoughts with a faith so strong that it brings tears to your eyes. Know that there is only one You and no one could take Your place.

If you'd only relax. If you'd only breathe. If you'd only close your eyes and remember who you are. You have been caught up in the push and pull of the demands of the world, but that is not who you are.

Take the gentle, loving hand of the Universe and lead each other where you may. Be the blind man with his walking cane taking the arm of his amour in complete faith and say: "I know you will bring me where I need to go. I love you. I trust you. I am you and you are me."

There is an energy, a being, a force that holds you dear...that knows you...the real you. Let go of what you think are your limits. Let go of what others would impose upon you. Focus solely on the very essence of your being. Resolve to live in Love. Decide to be in Peace. Surrender all that no longer serves you and begin again. You are all that we have been waiting for. And we have missed you so.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fire in My Belly


My belly has a fire. It's small, but it is building. It creeps up through my ribs and dares to grace my heart. It grows. With each word I type, with each phrase that passes my lips, I fan the flame. This blaze will not be tamed. It longs to burst forth and meet the world!

There is however, one enemy of the fire. It threatens to douse the light and silence me. It fills my ears with doubt and thoughts of failure. It is fear.

Everyday I meet with fear. And everyday I sit with it. I stare this fear deep in its own eyes and I dare it to defy me. Some days it wins and I retreat. I fold in on myself and walk away. Other days I roar. I laugh in its face and continue on my merry way without so much as a backward glance. My mission is to fill my life with more days like the latter and to move evermore from fear to love.

Through the fear I learn. Through the fear I grow. I sit in silence and greet each day anew. What is being brought to me today? Will Love win out yet again or will it be another notch in the belt of Fear? And what I know for sure is that underneath that which frightens us, is the potential for unyielding, compassionate love. Underneath the notions of failure and humiliation are the memories of triumph and grace. When I can align myself with this remembrance, I can move through the fear and tend to the fire in my belly. My heart is open. My pen is ready. There is no stopping me. I will be heard.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Loving Forgiv~ing!


So I am re-visiting the steps laid out by Gabrielle Bernstein in her book “Add More ~ing” to Your Life. The book is laid out BRILLIANTLY in my opinion. I’ve heard Gabby say that you’ve got to “Clear up the crazy” before you can really begin to manifest your hopes and desires. In fact the chapter entitled “Manifest~ing” does not appear until near the end of the book. This is because we hold a lot of negative ideas and resentments which are not in alignment with who we really are. These feelings keep us back from attaining the life we truly want because they are attached to fear. It is not until we can begin to align ourselves with love and compassion that the content of our authentic dreams becomes clear.

The first two chapters of the book are the most important to me: Feel~ing and Forgiv~ing. I needed to look at my thoughts. I needed to examine how I saw the people and events in my life and how it all made me feel. Realizing that I held a lot of anger, guilt and resentment about so many aspects of my life kind of shocked me. I thought I was a pretty easy-going, laid-back woman. To actually monitor my thoughts and feelings painted a totally different picture. I often had thoughts like: “That’s not fair.” “Why me?” “What an idiot!” etc. I had to laugh at myself. I had been just a little bit delusional. Through 30 days of looking at and sitting with my feelings I learned a lot about myself and what could trigger sadness, anger, guilt, resentment. I began to feel so much compassion for myself. I knew it was ok to feel this way, but also knew that I didn’t want to anymore. And so the only way to truly move past this negativity was to forgive.

I forgive you. Even just saying the words helps me breathe a little easier. I feel lighter just considering forgiving someone. So I set out to revisit forgiving this coming month. I have made a mental list of who I should offer absolution and am shocked at how many people there are! Keep in mind I had done this before and since! I think though, that I have been forgiving the obvious….parents, husband, in-laws, children, myself. So now what about a boss from 10 years ago? A particularly rude sales clerk from when I was 12? It’s all important and every person, as they are each my brother or sister, deserves to be forgiven. And I deserve to be released from the bitterness I have been feeling for far too long.

I look forward to it. I am loving forgiv~ing. With each act of forgiveness I become unburdened. I stand up straighter, shoulders back, looking ahead with love. This work will never stop and that’s ok. It gets easier.

To buy Gabrielle's Book, click here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

With Thanks For All


Only recently have I come to terms with everything that has happened in my life. All of it. I am able to paint my past with a broad brush of gratitude now. All of it. It's all me and I attracted it all. While I do not have the space here to recount every little thing that has occurred in my past 31 years, there is one specific incident that I will share to illustrate my point.

The Lawsuit.

Two and a half years ago my family was sued by a multi-billion dollar corporation. My parents had built a business that began in our basement. They slowly grew this into a medium-sized distribution company that did quite well and were leaders in their field. In 2005, they were approached by a large company to be purchased and after 18 months of negotiations it was a done deal.

This was however, a family company and so aside from my parents & my uncle (the owners), my husband, my brother and 2 close friends worked there. Because of the personal nature of the company, the transition was a difficult one. There was a lot of bitterness from my family about how their company was being handled and the direction it was being taken.
This bitterness festered. We talked about the takeover constantly. We complained. We lamented. Eventually my husband and brother could take it no more and decided to start their own company in a similar field. Just before they resigned however, their plans were discovered.

No Mercy.

Three days later my parents, my uncle, my brother and my husband were slapped with a multi-million dollar lawsuit. At first we laughed it off. Very quickly however that laughter faded into unabated fear. My husband and I were still catching up financially and now we were pregnant with our second child. How would we cope? How could we possibly keep up?
This frenzy of fear and blame continued for months and darkened every corner of our lives. These legal things move so slowly and are riddled with deception, manipulation and negativity. We lived in that pit and drank of that poison for one full year.

The Light.

On February 5th, 2009 a light was turned on. My husband and I watched a movie called "The Secret" which focuses on the power of the Law of Attraction. The purpose of this post is not to promote this movie (though, for us, it was a lifesaver), but merely to illustrate how the depths of helplessness can bring on the loving light of day. We had effectively surrendered the situation at this point and watching this movie brought sweet clarity. We had attracted this lawsuit. With our griping, negativity and our severe attachment to the company that was, we had brought on a maelstrom of madness. In essence we received from the Universe what we were giving to the Universe.

This shifted, for us, the course of the next few months because our thoughts and feelings shifted. We became so utterly grateful for what we had. We stopped blaming. We opened ourselves up to possibilities. We surrendered the outcome of the lawsuit altogether.

The Outcome.

In November of 2009 the lawsuit was settled. It had been behind us in our minds for months, but now it was all official.
I could be typing this post right now with an air of acridity and defiance, but I do not. I type with love and gratitude. That event shocked us to our cores and led us to the light. That event woke us up. I often pray for the people who were involved in the lawsuit...people from both sides. It was an occurrence that I know my family will not soon forget.
I know how the world works now. I see the part I play. I awake each morning and thank God for this life. I ask how I can be of service. I walk through my life now with awareness and awe of God's grace. We are blessed; we are guided and we give thanks for it all.

---
www.danielleboonstra.com

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

All Whom You Encounter


"When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him, you will see yourself. As you treat him, you will treat yourself. As you think of him, you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose sight of yourself." ~ A Course in Miracles

We know when we're being ignored. Conversely, we know when someone sees us...I mean really sees us. A person looks into our eyes down through vessels and veins straight into the heart of who we are. This is a holy encounter indeed. To me, when this happens it is merely a reminder that you can have this connection with anyone at anytime. It is just dependant on the openness of your hearts...on your willingness to see how everyone lives in you and you in them.

There are people who are incredibly attractive and those whose presence we avoid like the Plague. This is not necessarily reflective, however, of how they have always been. The potential for pure love and light lives in all of us. We are all merely at varying degrees of that consciousness of Love.

Is it easier with people who look like us? I see you in me because I really do see someone who looks like me? My daughter will often mimic me and I am reminded of how I look or how I sound. It helps me to remember when she upsets me that we are connected and that I have an infinite capacity for compassion where she is concerned. It also brings me to the realization that I have this compassion for everyone. I need only practice it.

Often more than words, a silent "I see you." is enough. A knowing nod...a loving smile...this is so frequently all that is needed. This is where our souls speak. This is where our higher selves embrace and remember one another. The challenge is then, can you see all whom you greet? Can you treat every encounter as a Holy Encounter? Can you wrap each person up in love with nothing but a meeting of the eyes? Of course you can. We all can. We all must. Our world depends upon it. So will you?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Feeling and Allowing



Throughout much of my life, the feelings that brought me down were the same: guilt, shame, resentment, sadness. On the other side of that, the feelings that raised me up were: love, acceptance, compassion and understanding. The challenge was then, to find the common thread. What made these feelings show up? I was so accustomed to feeling an emotion and then reacting...no time for reflection...no analysis done at all. I felt what I felt so there! Everyone, including me, was a victim of my emotions.

It wasn't until I sat with it...until I let the emotion wash over me, that I was able to gain some insight. I could sit quietly with the guilt, for instance, and allow a part of myself to observe the emotion. What is this really signifying? Unrealized expectations? Unworthiness? Fear? Lack of love? All of it...came the answer.

Who else can do this work? Who else can tell you the significance of your experience? If we do not take the time to look within and have love for own journey, we shall surely wander aimlessly loveless and alone.

Feel it. Allow it. Know it to be a part of your true and remarkable self. You are made up of a million shiny pieces...some could be called good and others bad. It is all you and it is all worthy. You are worthy. And when you make the effort, the Universe responds! Here it is! Here's you! You have unlocked the door and it's all here! The hurt, the redemption and the meaning of YOUR life!

And it all starts by feeling what you feel and allowing it to be. Come with me. Let's do this thing.

**This post was inspired by Chapter 1 of the AMAZING book by Gabrielle Bernstein: Add More ~ing To Your Life
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Announcement!


One of the books that has helped a great deal on my journey of self-discovery is Add More ~ing to Your Life by Gabrielle Bernstein. Gabby is launching a Book Club on her site www.herfuture.com. All women who are interested in the book or who have read and loved it already are encouraged to join the club. Click here to do so.
Each month the book club will go through a chapter with much assistance from Gabby herself. I will be participating as well and will share my journey here on this blog.
It's going to be exciting!! Add More ~ing is life-changing. Come...let's take this journey together. Let us wake up and get back to love!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Food, Love and The Way I Feel


Food has been an addiction of mine. I realize as I type this that there are many friends and family who do not know these things about me. They may be shocked, but this is my secret to reveal. I reveal it with love. I reveal it in the knowledge that I have healed myself and now perhaps, others.

I remember the first time I felt self-conscious about my body. I was 10 years old. A boy I liked teased me about my hips, of which I had been blissfully unaware. Hips? Yeah, what about them? Apparently, they were too big. Already at that tender age was ingrained in me a need to be good. I had to get A's. I had to please my parents and teachers. That's what love was. Love was approval.

This need for approval stalked me through my teenage years and crept into my 20s. At the age of 15 I began binging and purging. There was such peace in feeling full and satisfied with food in my belly. It took my mind away from my fearful thoughts. That was another misguided understanding of love, internal love. Feeling full felt like love...from the inside.

But the feelings of shame and inadequacy would eventually take over and so up it would come. It was a constant battle for internal love (binging & feeling full) and external love & approval (purging). I was a mess. I confided in only a handful of people...even my doctor, but the battle raged on for years with varying degrees of fervour.

Bulimia is chaos and control all at once. It blurs the mind and blocks the soul. I imagine this is true for all disorders, but I can only speak as I find. My body has been in dire need of healing for many years now. Marred by self-loathing and neglect, it has nevertheless served me well. And only recently have I been able to pull myself out of an ungracious fog and give thanks. I forced myself to love me. I got down on my knees. I wept. I asked for a miracle. "Help me to see who I really am and to love her!"

With affirmations, prayer and meditation, I have been led through the mist to the clear, loving light of day. I love myself. This is real love. This is our truth. Our natural state is Love. I look into the mirror, deep into my eyes and I see me. I say "I see you and I love you.". No one else can do that for me.

Sappy though it sounds, I am saved. I now love myself too much to live unconsciously. I love myself too much not to nourish my body. When I think of all the crazy, misguided thoughts that led me to abuse my body so awfully, my eyes water with sadness and yet, gratitude. I am thankful for the journey for it has led me here. And as you read this, know that I am happy. I am loved. I am nourished. I am safe.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Beauty of Self-Discovery


Just when I think I've gotten somewhere...just when I think I've learned the most important lesson...just when I think I am ready to commit to my dream...BAM..it hits me.

"Danielle, you are loved. Danielle, you still have work to do. In fact, the work will never stop." says the loving voice within.

That's what my intuition says, but what I feel is more akin to failure. And giving into that feeling allows a new voice to start speaking. I feel heavy and tired. I feel like I got too far ahead of myself. I feel like a sham.

Sitting in these thoughts & feelings for a while though and something miraculous begins to happen. It occurs to me that this is the same old tripe I used to wallow in that led me nowhere. This is the same thinking that held me back from shining my light! So I make a new choice.

I forgive.
I forgive myself. I forgive others who may have unconsciously slighted me. I let go and give thanks.

Breathing deeply and smiling to myself, I recall the words "...the work will never stop". It's good to be here though. There is beauty in self-discovery! And I would take being conscious over being unconscious any day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Who But You?


If you are seeking things to complain about, no doubt there are plenty. What is thought about is brought about. We live in this constant conundrum where we believe we are but boats lost at sea, when in fact we can pick up an oar and steer. We can steer our way into our own current and follow our unique stream of least resistance. There is a tunnel, a road, a way just for you....if you'd only let go.

Who but you can let go of your past mistakes and hurts? Who but you can forgive those who have wronged you? Who but you can step out of what was expected of you in favour of what is burning within?

You say "But I'm stuck! I'm still hurt!", and yet you despise feeling this way. Can you try to notice what you are feeling? Can you sit in the backseat and observe how low those thoughts make you feel? Can you begin to see how wallowing this way does not serve you? Of course you can. Who but you could do that? So now the question is: Are you willing?

Are you willing to feel love and compassion for everyone? Are you willing to get quiet and listen to that ever-caring voice within? Are you willing to remember who you are and why you were born in this time and space?

This is all it takes to change. A willingness. This is all that it takes to change the way you see the world and your place within it. And who but you can do that for you?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Romancing My Friends


I grew up loving Charlotte Bronte & Jane Austen. The stories of love, loss and misunderstandings filled me up! I loved the romance of them and I eagerly awaited when it would be my turn to fall in love and be swept off my feet. It turned out I didn't have to wait long. I met my husband when I was 14 and we've been together since we were 17. While 13 years later he is my best friend and the love of my life, it never compared to those books I read as an adolescent...because they were fiction.

I do not mean to sound disappointed, merely a little surprised. I tried to make the drama throughout our relationship. When we were apart, I would accuse him of not missing me. When we were reunited I would demand greater showing of affection. It's a wonder he stayed with me at all! What I know now, and have for some time, is that I was putting expectations on him and on our relationship that were completely irrational! The love was there...underneath it all...the entire time. I just denied it. I blocked it in favour of something more dramatic...more romantic.

It is so different now.

Now, believe it or not, I find that feeling of romance and passion with my friends. These are not just your run of the mill "What's the weather like where you are?" friends. These women feed my spirit! We discuss everything. We pray; we meditate. Nothing is hidden and all is accepted. We inspire and uplift one another. We hold space for each other's greatest hopes and dreams. We encourage only that which we know to be each other's fullest capacity for magnificence. These are relationships like no other. These relationships have changed my life.

I no longer look to my husband to fulfill and validate every facet of my existence. While he is wonderful and very receptive to all that I do now, the pressure is off of him to support everything I do on a continual basis. I create the space where I attract the right people to speak to and share with.

I would encourage every woman, no matter your age to seek out like-minded ladies. Come together in mind, body & spirit and share. Take one another into confidence and behold the greatness in each other. This is love at its best and most powerful. This is the new romance.

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2 Wonderful Places to Meet Like-Minded Friends Online:

www.realbeautyis.com
www.herfuture.com

Monday, May 31, 2010

One True Version


I am many different things to many different people. I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, co-worker, neighbour etc. These labels used to define my behaviour. The sister spoke differently than the friend...the wife unlike the co-worker. I adapted to my company and my environment. There was no one true version of myself that I presented to the world. I acted as various pieces of a puzzle to hide my real nature. It was hidden even from myself.

Fear. Fear held me back from being myself. No one could possibly love the real me! I decided just to be who I thought I needed to be in the moment. Be funny with the guys, overly-concerned with the girls, witty & gossipy with the co-workers... I ended up looking the fool time and time again...to myself at least. If never felt good. It never felt true.

And yet now I have slipped into my skin. I have wrapped myself in truth. It is comfortable here. I love myself. So how did I get here? How did I find the courage to gather up all the loose ends and tie them into me? Practice. Practice of telling the truth...of forgiveness...of self-love...of reflection...of compassion. It is by far the hardest work I have ever done. And I'm not done yet.

I still slip up. I sugar-coat to avoid conflict...I make an excuse to avoid a slight. I am so conscious of this now though! I know I do it and why. So I do not worry. These mistakes will be made less and less. It's part of my growth and my journey. The intention though, the intention is one true version of me and I truly believe it is the intention that counts.

More and more I show who I truly am without fear. I love who I am, faults and all. It's all me. It's all good.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Awake at 5am


I sometimes wake up at 5am. The house is quiet. The town is asleep and dreaming and yet I, for some reason, am wide awake.

This used to be a time of great anxiety. I would look at the clock and think "Ugh. Great. Now how am I going to get back to sleep?!". My thoughts would quickly turn to a replay of the previous day's events. A self-imposed shame-fest would ensue. What did I do wrong? Say wrong? Did I eat too much? Did I eat the wrong things? Did I look bad? What did I wear? And on and on...

No more!

Now when I awake at 5 am I smile. It's me time. I roll out of bed and plant my bottom on a pillow on the floor. I breathe. I close my eyes and clear my head and allow Love to flow from my heart to my entire body....then to the room...then to the house and eventually to the whole world. My mind is so clear in the wee hours. The energy is wonderful.

My worry and anxiety served no purpose. It was a bottomless pit of negativity from which it was near impossible to escape. Love however, is power...it's transformative. I truly believe that this early time in the morning is when miracles are made. By taking that time of pure quiet and feeling only love, I bring more of that to me and I send more of it from me. This is why I was awoken. It is part of my mission and it is time well spent.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Embrace Your Wickedness


It has been said that in order to truly know something, one must know the opposite. To know love we must experience apathy; to know light we must also know the dark. Slowly I am starting to accept this.

For the longest time I thought it best to deny the parts of myself that I despised. I thought if I just kept thinking positively and love, love, love that all the ugliness would drop away.

It did not.

I love myself for my capacity for compassion and I dislike that I can be so judgemental sometimes...that I can be so easily disgusted by another person who, like all of us, wants only to be loved. Why does that happen? How come I can be so full of love, kindness & compassion for someone in one moment and then totally turned off and holier-than-thou the next?

The truth is that anyone who shows up in my life, anyone, is there to teach me something about myself. If you see it in another, it most certainly exists in you. And as my friend pointed out to me recently, your wicked side serves you. The judgements I have about others allow me to sort through what I want and what I do not. I believe the point here is to bring these dark thoughts and feelings closer to the light. Allow this wickedness to soften and to serve you in a loving way.

So instead of, in my case, judging and then feeling guilt about the judgement, I can recognize the feeling for what is. It is fear. I can ask my inner guide "What is this fear trying to show me? Why is this feeling appearing now?" The more I ask these questions, the better I become at learning the lessons....the better I know myself.

There is so much to love about you. You are a perfect package growing and changing into your truest self. We must not deny any parts of ourselves for they all make up who we are. Take it all, the light and the dark and know that you are whole. You are beautiful. You are loved.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Leaving Guilt Behind


I remember writing in my journal about 4 years ago, soon after I had my first child, that "Motherhood = Guilt". And while I know that is how I felt at the time, I realize now what an illusion that was. I felt guilty about how much time I spent with my daughter, about only breast-feeding her part of the time, about not being completely joyful with her after a night of no sleep....and so on. What I apprehend now is that I was feeling so much love for her and not of enough of it for myself.

There is no nobility in guilt. It is a low, helpless and destructive emotion. I often think that we talk about our guilt and wallow in it so often so that others will know how much we care....how much we wish things were better. The truth is that guilt is denying how things really are. It denies our power to love in the moment and to actively change what is not working. There is nothing to admire about feeling guilty. We are more than that.

When we leave guilt behind and become grateful for the way things are, we can begin to see how much our present circumstances serve us. It may be a catalyst for change or a time for rest...whatever it is for you, it is right.

In this moment right now, you are doing your best. In this moment here, you have no cause for guilt. Wrap yourself in love and forgiveness. Leave those feelings of guilt and disgrace behind and move forward with empowerment. You are a being of love and light with nothing to fear. Your future is bright.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Judge Not


Last week I found myself saying the words that I have no right saying in regards to another person's life. "You should"...You should talk to this person! You should take this class! You should not spend time with that guy.
I can certainly suggest things. I can offer advice, but how can I ever possibly know what someone else should do?

Do you think you could go a day without being judgemental? I know I couldn't. The more conscious I become of my thoughts however, the closer I get to blessing others rather than judging.

I will never truly know what is right for another person, but I can wrap him in love using my thoughts. I can see her surrounded by healing white light. I can pray that you know how loved and guided you are...and that your greatest good is always what is unfolding.

Of course doing this also helps me remember to apply these principles to myself. I judge not myself; I judge not others....well, less & less anyways...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Failure is False


We all seem to have this incessant need for comparisons. We always need to know where we stand with our fellow human beings. We crowd our mind with thoughts like: "Well, at least I'm thinner than she is right?", "Does he make more money than me?", "Is this kitchen bigger than mine?". And if we don't measure up to others, feelings of failure inevitably surface.

How insane is that? We come at life from completely different angles than one another. We have completely different passions and intentions! Why oh why would we want the same as others? Why would their successes lessen who *we* are? And the flip side of that...why would their failures make us better?

I suggest that failure is an illusion. We are all unique expressions of spirit with varying beliefs, goals and fascinations. If we keep calm and focus on our own paths, how can failure exist? How can you fail at being yourself?

Have love for others and encourage them to be the greatest versions of themselves. Do this for yourself also and be surrounded by those who inspire you! Have forgiveness for yourself and those around you. We cannot judge the journey of another and we must make peace with our own at one time or another.

You may fall; you may rise to the top. That's all a part of it. Failure is false. You are your own truth. When you live honestly and with love, failure is not an option.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Letting Go of Who I Was


This past year has been hugely transformational for me. I am still in the midst of this change. From time to time I fall...I mourn. Sadness washes over me as I realize I am not who I once was. The experience is not sad though. I know this. Although my immediate reaction may be melancholy, I am able to shift quickly now. I shift to a grateful acceptance of the new me.

Friendships have changed. How my time is spent has changed. My intentions have changed. I have shed a lot of old skin and emerged anew! It's not always pleasant, but it is absolutely necessary and so worth it.

I used to identify myself with so many external things. This, I thought, helped me to know my worth in the world. I would question "Is my job good enough? Do I make enough money? Do we live in a nice enough neighbourhood? Am I smart enough?". Of course all of this was meaningless. Being in competition leads to misery every single time. Life is not a race.

And so I work on shedding these things. I get better and better at it everyday. Who I really am is not concerned with how much money I make. My authentic self is concerned only with creative expression of my divine purpose! As I let go of the labels I used to love, I become more me...the me who will not be defined because I am constantly evolving!

This is freedom. This is peace.

I am still learning and I often need reminders. I make sure to surround myself with people who do just that. Time alone is most important though. The voice within knows better than anyone else what I need to work on and where I need more love. Being at peace with my own journey is so key. I am who I am today because of all that has happened up until this very moment. And though it is necessary to let go of who I was, I have love for every thought, action and feeling that has led me here.

I know I did my best.

http://livewelllivewealth.yolasite.com
http://twitter.com/LiveWealth

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We Are Here To Serve


There exists in every one of us a gift. This gift is unique to each of us and we are meant to express it in our own individual ways. As Deepak Chopra says: "There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle." We each have a purpose. We are all meant to be here in this time and space. We are here to serve one another.

You may think "Who am I to serve the world and make it better?", but really...Who are you *not* to do so? Why aren't you special? We all share the same Earth, breathe the same air and are warmed by the same sun. We are all connected and needed. No individual talent is better or greater than another. When we align ourselves with the truth of who we are it is always going to benefit the greater good.

A daycare provider who adores children is just as important as the person cleaning up litter who is just as wonderful as the researcher who helps to cure a fatal disease.

There is something within you longing to be expressed. There is something within you that the world needs now. To live in fear is not truly living. When we all choose to live in Love we begin to live authentically calling forth the very essence of who we are. We are loving, giving spirits and we are here to serve. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and listen. Your calling is calling...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sweet Inspiration


Inspiration. We could debate for days about where is comes from, but the point of this post is to suggest that we not ignore it. Ever.

So often in our adult lives we feel separated and cut off from those around us. He has a better job, she lives in a bad neighbourhood, they'll never understand what I'm going through...these are the kind of thoughts we have about the people we know. Of course this is false. We are not separate. We have more in common with all life on earth than we realize.

We are all connected and the realization of this connection opens us up to inspiration. We step out of the darkness of fear and into the beautiful light of love. I don't use the word "love" to imply sugary romance, but rather our true fearless nature.

Inspiration can come in many forms, but it always starts as a thought. You are the gatekeeper of your thoughts, so when inspiration comes knocking...listen. If the idea seems too big or out of reach, try not to discount it altogether. Chances are this is your Fear talking anyways. Rather, try and map it out. Are there some sweet, small steps you can take? Think of inspiration as that caring, maternal part of you that always has your best interest at heart.

You are meant for greatness. You define that greatness. Inspiration is that push...that nudge to get you moving forward. Leave your fear behind. Listen to that voice inside that knows you are capable of anything. Because you are.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shine Your Light!


How happy does it make you to hide out? How joyful is it to stay quiet and hold back your ideas?

When love outweighs fear we become brave. We live bigger; we dream bigger. In short, we grow! There is so much to experience outside the confines of our homes. There are people to meet, opportunities to take and breathtaking sights to behold! All of it is there for us. We are the only ones standing in our way. We are the ones we've been waiting for. You are your own knight in shining armour and you ROCK!

Yes, you may fall...so you pick yourself up. Yes, you may be laughed at...so you smile knowingly and move on. Conquering your fear and LIVING is what it is all about. You become more of yourself when you step into love and follow your heart.

Know that you were born for a purpose...that there is something you have to offer the world that we all need. Shine your light. We would all be grateful if you would.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You Can Be That Too


There are lots of people who I admire. It may be how they do business, how they manage money, the way they speak or any number of things. What I have decided to do is to be that too.

I don't mean copying or imitating. I truly mean BE-ing.

I have decided to observe the people who inspire and move me to be better and to take on what they do. By applying their methods to my own life, I practice a new way of being. I shift my perception and also, shift how others perceive me.

For instance, I have always been a fast-talker. When I get excited about something or feel I have some expertise to offer, my mouth is off like a rocket! I get to the point where I am just spewing out words to take over the conversation. There's barely room for breath! I admire people who talk slowly...who command attention by speaking with gentle authority. So I now practice this. Sometimes I practice silently to myself, but mostly I have begun to apply this technique when I speak to anybody about anything! I am transformed. Truly. I have become a person who listens patiently and speaks calmly. I am that and everyone else knows it too.

Remember that we are surrounded by people who teach us. When someone else's actions speak to you in a way that lifts you up, making you want to reach for more, be that. Meditate on it, practice it and you can be that too.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Power of Like-Minds


Last night I was at a gathering of people who want change. They want change in themselves and then, in turn, change in the world around them. When people come together for the same purpose, there is power in that. We all know that. When we all have the same intention, magic happens. You can feel it! It's palpable.

It is HUGE to know you are not alone. When you realize that there are other people who feel the same way you do, you breathe a sigh of relief. Suddenly, there is no more need to keep quiet, to stay in the shadows. You can step out into the light and shine! When like-minds gather, the ideas flow like water. It's effortless and easy. You feed off each other and what starts as one small notion becomes a full-fledged movement!

If you have yearnings for change...If you feel like you can make a difference, go searching. Google your particular passion, post ads, put up posters...do all that you can to seek out others who feel the same way. Start a posse of people who want positive change and watch as your hopes & desires are manifested. There is power in where 2 or more are gathered, and when harnessed, miracles happen.

**If you are a woman in search of inspiring, thoughtful and passionate women to share with, check out www.herfuture.com

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Universe is Good


We expect a lot of things in our lives and not many of those things are good. We expect to be late, to be laughed at, to miss out on that bonus. How often do we expect the good stuff? More than that, how often do we *ask* for something good?

Albert Einstein is known to have said that the most important question a human being can ask is "Is the universe friendly?". So in other words, do we live in a world supported by laws that can work in our greatest favour? The answer is Yes.

We are powerful beings with infinite capacities for all things positive. When we tap into that most central part of ourselves, the core of who we are, we can begin to ask the important questions: "How can I best serve this world?" "What are the talents and gifts I possess that can help to further humanity?" or even "What am I here to learn?". These are the questions that lead to miracles. These are the questions that cause your greatest good to unfold.

Remember, there is power in the asking and there is even greater power in the listening and receiving. The Universe is Good.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Hear You


I find I am becoming a better listener as I get older. It really sheds some light on what a terrible listener I used to be. Don't get me wrong, I was interested in what other people had to say. It's just that I was also very keen on sharing my own thoughts on the subject. This often meant repeating "Uh-huh", nodding impatiently waiting for my turn to talk or just plain old interrupting.

We all want to be heard and to be accepted for what we are trying to express. When I was younger, I really only spoke in order to be agreed with...to feel noticed, to feel smart. I seldom spoke to express my true feelings or my genuine self. That would be too scary! I became an expert at "Feeling the room"...sensing the vibe, where people were coming from and then just saying what I thought would get the most amount of "Yeah exactly!" from people.

When we really listen though, I believe we open up to kindness and understanding. If we are truly hearing the other person we send out the "It's OK. I love you." vibe. This kind of listening allows us to speak truthfully from the core of who we are. We feel safe and cared for knowing that our words land in the lap of love.

Isn't this the kind of communication we want? When we see the people we love, don't we want to *really* know how they are? Aren't those honesty breakthroughs amazing?

I start by blessing the person I am talking to. I make sure I maintain eye contact and encourage them with smiles, looks of concern etc. I also make sure I reach out and touch them when appropriate. This kind of listening continues to help deepen my relationships. I still fumble now and then, but when I make the commitment to send out the message "I Hear You", I have the luxury of actually doing just that.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A People-Pleaser No More


I was a people-pleaser since birth I am certain. My main goal was to look for approval, praise or both in everything I did. Such an empty, fruitless pursuit. We all have our own perceptions. We each see a situation differently, and therefore it is impossible to please everyone every time.

Take this story I heard once: A couple buy a donkey from the market. On the way home,a boy comments, "Very stupid. Why do neither of them ride on the donkey?" Upon hearing that,the husband lets the wife ride on the donkey. He walks beside them. Later, an old man sees the party and comments, "The husband is the head of family. How can the wife ride the donkey while the husband walks?" Hearing this,the wife quickly gets down and lets the husband ride on the donkey. Further on the way home, they meet an old Lady. She comments, "How can the man ride on the donkey but let the wife walk? He is no gentleman." The husband quickly asks the wife to join him on the donkey. Then they met a young man. He comments,"Poor donkey, how can you carry the weight of two persons? They are cruel to you." Hearing that, the husband and wife immediately climb down from the donkey and carry it on their shoulders. It seems to be the only choice left. Later, on a narrow bridge, the donkey is frightened and struggles. They lose their balance and fall into the river.

When we try to please others, we step outside of who we really are. We lose our balance. We know this. We feel it. When you are doing something you do not truly *want* to do, you tighten up, feel nauseous etc. Your body rejects the idea on all levels, but the ego trudges on....desperate for that pat on the back.

No more! My main goal now is to bring love into every situation...love for myself, love for others. With love I cannot go wrong. I walk with confidence, compassion and wisdom. Now that I know I cannot please everyone, I resolve to please myself. I follow my heart and my heart is full...full of kindness, empathy and resolve.
I am a people-pleaser no more.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Importance of Creativity

I watched this video last night of Sir Ken Robinson talking about the Public School System and the effect it can have on Creativity. I just had to share it here.

I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this. I think he is so right-on! Our children deserve so much more then we are presently providing. How can we begin to encourage more creativity in schools?

Friday, February 26, 2010

You Inspire Me


If you are trying your best and know when to ask for help, You inspire me.


If you are expressing yourself without thought to what others will think, You inspire me.


If you are following your heart in all that you do, You inspire me.


If you know how beautiful and perfect you are, You inspire me.


If you hold others in your thoughts each day and surround those thoughts in love, You inspire me.


If you move and stretch and bless your body everyday, You inspire me.


If you stop yourself before saying something unkind, You inspire me.


If you are comfortable in your own skin, You inspire me.


Know that if you are reading this, You inspire me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Would Love do?


This is a question I have decided to ask myself from now on. I will ask it when I don't get what I want, when I am interrupted, when my children yell and scream, when my cat throws up on the couch....you get the idea. What would Love do? The answer to me is that Love would just be. Love would just be the ever-presence of itself. Love would accept what is and move on. Love would only acknowledge that which is real and the only real thing *is* Love.

I am not saying that it's not ok to get upset, to feel hurt or even to lash out. These are perfectly understandable reactions. The problem for me is that these don't serve me. I do not learn from that anymore. I am 30 years old and have spent too much time feeling hurt and not feeling good. When I let Love in, I feel better. I learn more about myself and all that I am capable of. We all do.

Our world could benefit so much from more kindness and compassion. It's not about being in control of every situation, or getting our fair share. With a shift in your understanding you can realize that you do control your surroundings and you always have. You also realize that there is enough to go around. There is plenty of good for everyone and sharing your good only brings more to you. You can give more, laugh more, hug more. That is what Love would do.

**Know any women in need of a mentor? Check out herfuture.com today!

Friday, February 12, 2010

This Woman's Work


I have to confess. It's harder than it looks.
As a mother, wife, human on a spiritual journey there are times.... Times when I feel so overwhelmed I think I may just break down.

Just yesterday I was in a class at my spiritual community and a friend who is in her late 50s was commenting to me how she remembers the struggle being at home with 2 kids. And I thought to myself "Struggle? What struggle? I'm just fine thanks.". Of course there are days where everything is fine. There are days when everything is wonderful! I am living in the flow and full of love and joy. But then there are days when I am not.

There are days when I am quick to anger, annoyed by every little thing and feeling trapped.

As a "spiritual person" I sometimes forget that these feelings are ok. I forget that repressing these feelings doesn't get rid of them. If I don't acknowledge what is going on within and forgive myself, it just pops up later...and tenfold.

I am busy. I juggle a lot of things and I know I do it well. That does not mean that I don't sometimes drop the ball. The trick is to forgive myself; to replace those icky feelings with feelings of love and acceptance. When I do this I can transform. I change not only myself, but those around me.

Denial never helped anyone and this woman's work is too important to be stymied. When I live in love and acceptance, I change the world one day at a time.
**Check out www.herfuture.com to find a mentor or to mentor another woman today!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Guilt - A Waste of Your Precious Thoughts


How could I have done that? Why did I say that? He'll never look at me the same way again. She'll never know how much I really do love her.

Thoughts like this can consume us. They suck us in to a Negative-Thinking Black Hole that seems impossible to pull ourselves from. Guilt. It's our way of beating ourselves up and telling ourselves we are not lovable; that we are not enough. What a waste.

What if we could be more gentle with ourselves? What if we could remember that we are here to learn?

Often we convince ourselves that something we have said or done is so awful we begin to wonder how anyone can love us. We start thinking that others are talking about us and how bad we are. More often that not though, the thing that we thought was so terrible, was really nothing to the other person. We blow these events so out of proportion that we begin to create a very negative picture of ourselves.

That is not who you are.

You are a divine being and love is your only reality. Be kind and loving to yourself. Apologize when necessary and right those wrongs, but do not get caught up in your mistakes. Learn from them. Let them be guideposts on your path to discovering who you really are, what you truly value.

As you forgive yourself you give leave for others to do the same. As you release your guilt you let love and light in. Guilt keeps us down. Forgiveness frees us to take the lesson to heart and move forward.

Be gentle with yourself. Guilt is a waste of your precious thoughts and it only serves to keep love out. Always let love in.
Danielle Boonstra
http://twitter.com/LiveWealth

Monday, February 1, 2010

You Are More Than That


When we meet people for the first time, what is the most common question that is asked? "What do you do?" right? It gives us a gauge of who that person is, their station in life, their likes and dislikes...or so we think. The truth is that for everyone of us, no matter what it is that we do, whether we are married or single, whether or not we have children; we are more than that.

We are more than sons, more than daughters. We are more than nurses, more than mechanics. We are more than mothers, more than fathers.

We are divine beings with limitless potential; every last one of us.

It is empowering and frightening at the same time. Marianne Williamson has a famous quote: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

So the next time you meet someone for the first time, you may consider asking: "What is your passion?" or "What lights you up?". And watch as he/she delights in realizing that another person has seen more in them.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bold For a Change




I recently decided that I have spent way too much of my life trying to please others. I remember about 5 years ago complaining to a friend who was in her late 30s about a family member who just didn't like me. I lamented that it did not matter what I did or said, this person never had anything good to say to me. My friend just laughed and said "It's funny the things you care about in your 20s that don't bother you a bit when you are older.". I thought to myself at the time: "That was so NOT helpful.", but now I understand what she meant. If you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one, least of all yourself. People can't stand people who try too hard.

So I have decided to be myself at all times. How original indeed.

Slowly, I am starting a movement. This movement involves living your life according to your own dreams and values. No longer will we give in when the world says we should. We shall follow our own path blazed with passion, talent and a desire to serve others. We remain focused and surround ourselves with people who share our dream. We stay positive, work hard and treat others with compassion. We live in the moment with a clear vision of the end result. We leave room for adjustments along the way knowing that there are countless ways to achieve our goals.

Ok, so I'm not speaking to an auditorium full of hundreds of people every night. I am starting the movement by being a living example. By changing the way I live my life, I will affect others. Gandhi said: "Be the change you want to see in the world.". I will be the Bold. Bold for a change.

Danielle Boonstra

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Case For Loving Your Job


How many people do you know *love* what they do for a living? How many of them like it even? I suggest to you that loving your job is important. You spend an enormous amount of your time and energy in your work. It receives a lot of your attention, so why not give your attention to something you are good at and something you enjoy? Here are some reasons why I believe this matters:

1) You Have Gifts & Talents - We all have our own special skills and abilities, but how many of us actually apply these? You may say you cannot make money at what it is that you are good at, but is this really true or did you just give up trying? Someone out there is financially successful at the thing you are good at. What makes them different than you? The answer: nothing. By holding back our aptitudes, we extinguish our light. We shy away from all that we can offer the world. You are good at something. Share it!

2) You Are Taking Someone's Place - The truth is that even if you don't particularly enjoy your job, someone else out there would. To someone else, your job is a dream! So by working at something you do not like, you are keeping that job from someone who would. We all have our strengths. Are you applying yours right now?

3) Success Doesn't Come From a Pay Cheque - If you are working purely for a pay cheque, you will never find true success. You know I'm right. True success is born out of passion! When you follow what is tugging at your heart you are on the path to your own version of prosperity. Decide what it is you love. Declare it. Think of how you can apply it. Tell everyone you know about it. This is how to start....you have to light the fire! You are more than a Pay Cheque.

4) Happiness Makes the World a Better Place - Just imagine if everyone in the world loved their job. What would that look like? We would have less depression, more smiles....less shouting, more laughing...less weeping, more moments of contentment. Somewhere along the way we got lost. We forgot to listen to our own heart's desires and started nodding to the "shoulds" of the outside world. There is always a way to do what you love. People do it everyday.

Be open to the possibility that you have more to offer this world than what you are currently. I believe that when we choose a path filled with passion, the money will come. I understand that there are children, spouses and mortgages to consider, but ask yourself: What is the worst that could happen? Chances are it is something that you could live through and would most likely never even come to pass. You deserve all that life has to offer. We all do.

Danielle Boonstra
http://twitter.com/LiveWealth