What is desire?

An evolutionary impulse.

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Is your Inner Motivational Speaker, like, nice to you? Because interior tone matters so very much.

photo credit: Catherine Just

We all have a voice in our heads telling us what to do.

Pick a motivational ‘ism, (it doesn’t really matter which one):

Feel the fear and do it anyway. Decide to rise. Do what ordinary people fear. No pain, no gain. Find a way, not an excuse. Dream bigger.

Really, nothing wrong with any of those dictums. Philosophically, you could drill into each one and find some universal truth. Or, you could write these off as BS motivational hype. It’s a personal choice. Here’s the point:

Like all communication, it’s THE TONE that makes the difference. And the tone that you take with yourself is the most important.

Is your inner motivational voice shouting or whispering? Is it cheering you on, or talking down to you? Is it acting like it’s all supportive and shit when really, it’s just trying to scare you into getting something done so the world will get off your back? (Read: Your chronically disappointed mother; your successful sister [who’s really actually quite lovely, it’s just that you’re a bit envious]; your subtly judgmental so-called BFF…)

If you’ve got a cheerleader in your psyche who’s the best friend you ever had, then you can stop reading here. Congratulations!

If your Inner Motivational Speaker tends to shout at you no matter what, then consider this:

Sometimes you have to stand up to that inner voice (and to all disconnected motivational speakers out there acting like they haven’t had a down day in years) and you just need to say: Don’t fucking yell at me.

That’s it. Tell your Inner Motivational Speaker this: Speak kindly to me. Share because you care. Really believe in me. Today, I need you to whisper. Or…Today, I need you to give me a rock opera of pure love. Be kind.

You can sing the same anthems. Go get ‘em! Carpe diem! Sleep when you die. Never give up. But sing them from your heart, not your lack mentality.

Inner motivation is a two-way conversation, not a dictation. tweet

Sweetened assurances won’t make you too soft, they’ll make you mightier.

Inner kindness translates to mega motivation. tweet


All Love,

danielle-signature1 copy

Facebook @2x


Last week from Danielle:
Some fame, too much coolness, and the kindness that makes everything okay.
I couldn’t stand myself anymore. Cool was killing me.

Some fame, too much coolness, and the kindness that makes everything okay.

I was hanging out with a PFP (Powerful Famous Person). If you’ve been around any PFP’s for a length of time you’ll notice (and yes this is an overgeneralization but, not really), that almost everybody wants something from them. An endorsement, a connection, tickets, a job, a tweet, validation for existing. It’s pretty gross, and completely understandable. (And it takes a good psychologist to help a PFP manage all that. Unless you actually grew up in show business as a PFP your whole life, in which case, therapy can’t touch that.)

So… I’m hanging with PFP. No wait, I need to give you more context. Quick behaviour profile on me in case we haven’t met: I’m an introvert so I almost never insert myself into conversation. I’m quick to laugh, affectionate, and I will always reach for the most encouraging thing to say to someone. I hang out on the edge, but once I’m in, I’m IN. I’ll give you all I’ve got for that fifteen minutes or for fifteen years of friendship. (And of course, what I’ve got to give may vary. But you get the idea. I aim to be present.)

So… I’m hanging with PFP. And I really adore and respect this human. But I decide to play it extra cool with them because if they perceive me to be a sycophant I’d like, die a thousand deaths. But what I really want to do is squeeze them tight and say, “You’re fucking awesome, and I see your soul, and I don’t want a thing from you. Just…hello, beautiful.” But instead, I play it cool. Stay on the edge. Tone it down.

And every time I hang out with PFP + posse (‘cause there’s always a posse) I chose to be, like, cool and unobtrusive and “respectful”. And I start to feel … really uncool. Grey. Not myself. It’s awkward. I can feel my light dimming and that always makes me jittery inside.

You know that moment when you decide to step up to life? When you’re going to turn your “before” into an “after”?…

I couldn’t stand myself anymore. Cool was killing me.

PFP got off stage. I cozied up and put my arm around them. “That was a tough crowd tonight,” I said. “Wealthy, mostly white, and overly comfortable. They did NOT want to get out of their seats. You worked hard out there. You really lifted them UP. It’s incredible to witness. Really powerful.”

Then PFP, all sweaty and awesome says to me, “Man, that means a lot coming from you. They were tough. But we rocked it.”

The grey vanished. Some warm fuzzy light waves were exchanged. I was back.

It probably wouldn’t have mattered if PFP blew me off or thought I was kissing ass.  

What mattered was that I showed up. I let the love go where it usually wants to go: toward someone else who really needs it.

And a side note: It doesn’t matter who you are. Small stage or stadium. Rookie or pro. Mini or mega. At the end of the day, every one of us wants to hear, “Hey…good job out there.”


Just let the love out. It’s always there. Choose kind over cool. tweet


Last week from Danielle:
Spiritual practice won’t stop shitty things from happening to you. However…
You can still get your heart broken when you’re enlightened.

Spiritual practice won’t stop shitty things from happening to you. However...

Yoga isn’t going to make you impervious to criticism — because criticism bites. Meditation doesn’t make divorce less brutal — because divorce is rough no matter how it goes down. Green juice won’t keep the creep at work away — creeps like to creep. And prayer will not make your illness less intense to deal with — physical burdens are…burdensome.

For a lot of self-helpers, and juicers, and cosmic troopers who have been at it for a while there comes a pitfall — and you can trip into it on your first hot yoga class, or after ten years of regular meditation and fervent prayer. It goes like this: If I’m doing all this spiritual work, why does shit keep happening? 

Variations include, but are not limited to: I’ve worked really hard to get my ego in check, why am I still so jealous of her?… I’ve had so much therapy, why aren’t I over this yet?… Been doing my abundance mantra for 40 days, but I’m still freaked about money… Take my supplements religiously, but I keep getting sick… I totally opened my heart chakra in that weekend workshop, but like, I still think he’s a total asshole.

Spiritual practice won’t stop shitty things from happening. Here’s the truly holistic picture: Life is full of shitty things, circumstances, feelings, emotions, and people with crazy-shitty motives.

You can still get your heart broken when you’re enlightened. Illumination doesn’t spare the body — pundit Jiddu Krishnamurti dealt with wretched migraines, the beloved Thich Nhat Hanh recently suffered a debilitating stroke. Tragedies strike. Tsunamis engulf. Life hits, heals, caresses, and batters every one of us — the saints, the do-gooder’s, in sun salutations, and in repose.

But this…

Here’s what soul practice does: It helps you handle the hard stuff when it comes. Every conscious in-breath/out-breath you take carves out space in your being for the ineffable mystery. And you really need to leave room for mystery if you want to stay sane. All of your dancing, and asanas, and sweaty finish lines are making it much easier to unfold, rather than grip and grind. The prayers, the declarations, the incantations… they’re an IV drip of grace, streaming into your nervous system.

Spiritual practice won’t make you super human. But it will help you fall in love with your humanity. tweet

You get to choose your response to even the things you can’t prevent. When you’re down on yourself because you can’t get over it, when the Creepy Creepertons are on your very last nerve, when you’re tired of being tired, or your heart is in pieces…the best self-help is self-compassion.


photo credit: Catherine Just

Last week from Danielle:
There was a time when You lived to protect Me
Me, your Mother. Me, your Daughter. Me, your Sister. Me, your Lover.


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