The Ego: Spotlight vs. Shadow

The ego has a spotlight and a shadow.

Having a dominant ego isn’t just about being arrogant

or thinking we’re the the best thing in the Universe.

It also can look like thinking we’re the worst thing.

Both are a form of self-obsession or self-fixation—

inflating our individual identity far beyond the Truth.

Both cause us suffering.


A balanced ego knows it’s place in The Family of Things

that our individual expression is a part of a greater whole.

We cannot be “the best” or “the worst” because we’re part of everything.

The whole Divine gamut.

Self-hatred, self-neglect, or self-minimizing serves no one.

To deny ourselves is to deny the Highest Good of all.

To honor ourselves and our needs is to honor the Truth

that we are exactly how we are meant to be and that

our beauty and our gifts+talents are not ours to take credit for.

But they are ours to take ownership of and responsibility for.

We are important—just like everyone else.

We are healing and growing—just like everyone else.

Our needs are not too much—just like everyone else.

And especially—we are worthy of love.

Just like every incredible blessed being.


Let yourself be you.

With humbled pride.

The rest will fall into place.

Sending Light to all beings 🌻 Danielle

Why Walk a Spiritual Path?

Why do we pursue a spiritual path? And why do we follow it once we’ve got our feet wet?

I’ve been drawn to spiritual study and practice for about 6-7 years now, and my motivation for doing so has been all over the board. There’s been a genuine curiosity for Life and desire for deeper connection (with Spirit, with others, and within myself) underlying it all.

But the human mind loves to attach itself to… well, everything. So it’s only natural that even if something is entered with genuine motivation, we can get hooked into story-telling and, ultimately, reinforcing the ways we feel bad about ourselves. Red flag that your ego’s at play? If we feel like our practice will make us “better” than we are now…implying that our expression in the present is somehow lesser than, or needing fixing.

It’s important to be careful about using phrases like “reaching our Highest Potential” when we’re motivating ourselves to practice, learn, or grow. I’ve fallen into that mental trap so many times, and I still have to catch myself. The key to not finding fault for fixing is Self-Love.

We’re already perfect. We’ve done the absolute best with the energy, wisdom, and resources we’ve had. And perhaps, through practice, those qualities will change, and we’ll have the opportunity to experience ourselves and our Life with more peace of mind, less resistance, and and a heart more open to all beings and Life itself. Not because it’s “better,” but because it’s the natural unfolding that happens when we devote ourselves to awakening. (Doesn’t hurt that deep love and ecstatic bliss tend to be natural side-effects of the path, but that’s neither here nor there.)

So—why do we practice? My wonderful teacher Hareesh Wallis has offered the following, and it’s changing the way I approach every day.

“I walk this path out of Love for myself so that I may know the Truth for the benefit of all beings.”

In this way, we offer ourselves patience and grace for where we are while honoring our genuine desire to suffer less than we have been able to previously. And it indulges our natural curiosity to understand our experience. What is True. With the desire to support, Love, and heal all beings.

The following video is an offering from Hareesh going deeper into this concept. It’s been rippling through my consciousness for the past few weeks, so I’d love to share it with all of you.

Sending Light to all beings 🌻 Danielle


Wild One

Lately I’ve been feeling a massive wave of rejecting domesticity. When did we accept the notion that we’re supposed to be tame? Polite? Palatable? When did we reject the biological Truth that a powerful part of ourselves is in fact a beautiful, primal creature? These bodies have a wildness and their own kind of intelligence that we have dismissed for far too long.⠀

Our wildness speaks to us through desire. We feel the magnetic pull on our heart, and burst of Lightning through our spine, and the ripples of waves in our tender bellies. We feel the bristle on the back of our neck when something isn’t quite right. We also feel radically free and relieved when we let our bare feet sink into the Earth, or when we howl and moan and scream into the wind. It is natural to sweat and drool and cry. It is NATURAL to enjoy the ravenous tangled limbs of sex. This is our wildness. Fuck domesticity, I’m taking mine back.

May we all reclaim our right to BE—free and wild—as we navigate this Life.
Your humanness is beautiful to me.


my soul is a wild one
she dances on the whisps
of the wind
and through the strands
of unwraveling time
like this
i am at my best
free to be the creature
i was born of and to
at one with the Mystery
to which i will
inevitably return

Sending Light 🌻 Danielle

Two Wildly Different New Years

The contrast in how I rang in the New Year for 2018 compared to the last is stark if not startling.

On the last night of 2016 I dolled myself up, chugged a large coffee at 10pm, and plunged into an evening of dancing at a stranger’s house party with old friends and a lot of whisky. I was visiting LA after spending the entirety of the year studying meditation and living off the grid in the Redwoods, and felt myself tumble right back into that old way of being…but it didn’t feel good that time. The night ended with me in a compromising situation I’d rather not relive, and I started my first day of 2017 walking off my hangover alone on the streets of Los Feliz while my gaggle of distant companions slept until noon. I sat myself down on the stoop and told myself I wasn’t coming back. I loved that way of Life once, but I had changed.

So much has changed in me, and it continues every day. I believe that’s to be expected when we put down the fight and allow Life to move through us. She’s swift. Especially when we were a bit foot-dragged through the last few chapters. (Lord knows I know that move.)

This year was quiet. No parties. No people. No red wine or hullabaloo. I spent my night penning a goodbye letter to 2017 and the the person I had been during the year, and every year before. I lit a lot of candles. I meditated. I held ceremony for myself to release my attachments and my identity and stepped into 2018 with a clean slate. There’s something new and powerful and different ready to come through this sweet human this year, so I felt like the past deserved to be honored for all she’s done to carry and support me thus far. I thanked her, and I let her go.

The whole evening felt bittersweet. I sat with shades of loneliness and confusion and stuckness. I sat with gratitude and peace. I sat with grief, knowing that a large part of the “me” I’ve grown so accustomed to (loved, even) will not survive through next December 31st. I can’t fully explain it, but there’s something deep and True in me that knows this year requires a massive letting go. The kind required when we say “yes” to Life as clearly as I have.

And you know what? I woke up this morning and I felt peace. Vibrance. Hope. I felt soft and open and suddenly spending New Years Eve quietly in ceremony alone wasn’t something I was just in acceptance of—I was incredibly grateful for it. Sparks of synchronicity and growth and Love have been dancing with me all day. If this is how 2018 is panning out, I welcome it. I welcome it because it’s coming whether I agree or not, but also because I actually find immense joy in this messy, beautiful unfolding.

Hit me with your best, Life. My arms and my heart are open to you.

Sending Light to all beings, this year and beyond.

In Soul, Danielle


A Prayer for Releasing 2017

We’re nearing our final hours of 2017 and it’s feeling magical AF (Full Moon, I see you!) There is so much I could and would love to say about my personal year, but there’s something more important I’d like to share.

I’ve noticed (in myself and many others) how there’s this massive wave of intention and desire for what we want to step into in the New Year, and we might make some headway into it, but ultimately we get hooked into the same patterns and dependancies that kept us from embodying those desires in the previous years. Why?

It’s because we’ve skipped a really important step. GENUINELY releasing the prior year, and the “self” that we were every movement and every day leading up to the New Year. Cheeky humans, thinking we can avoid the letting go part and just receive our wildest dreams! 😉 We’ve got some energetic clean-up to do before we have space for this new way of being to step in.

This means we have to take the time to say goodbye. Reflect on everything this year brought us, thank it for its blessings and its challenges and its lessons. And then cut the cords and let it go so we can step into a new year free from attachments, ties, and dependancies.

I wrote this prayer as an offering for anyone who’s feeling ready to release everything from this past year—ready to start fresh and clear tomorrow for 2018:

Dear 2017,
I call on you with a full heart
I call on you with Love for the Life we lived together
I thank you for all you have given me
How you supported me, protected me, played with me, and loved me
I forgive you for how you have hurt me
How you held me back, kept me small, broke my heart, and made me afraid
I return to you everything I’m mean to leave behind
I take back everything I’m meant to carry forward
May I be free from all the ties that bind us
May I be free from all attachments to what I wanted from you
May I be free from all hopes for what you could have been
May I be free from all regrets for what happened, and what didn’t
May all cords between us be cut, transmuted, and dissolved
At this time, and every moment forward
As above, so below, so within, aho

I recommend, as a simple meditative practice, to light a candle and gaze into the flame focusing on everything that happened this year, everything you want to let go on, and then everything you wish to step into in 2018. Recite this prayer, meditate, and then offer your gratitude to 2017 before snuffing out the flame.

Sending so much Love to all in the New Year
💜 Danielle


Unpacking Christmas

Gah. What an unexpected, interesting, emotional, and (ultimately) beautiful Christmas this has been. As the sparks of this season drift to the Earth like Sister Snow, Peace rests in my heart. I feel grateful. I feel a little tired. I come back to Love.

This is the first Christmas I’ve spent in my own home. There’s been a bittersweetness to the experience. I expected tragedy and heartbreak, and there was a certainly a layer of grief as I acknowledged the childhood traditions and ancestral company I wasn’t present for this year. But yet…through it rose a tenderhearted appreciation for the authentic and deeply supportive Life I’m creating in my own right. Such loving people to share this chapter with, who have wholeheartedly welcomed me into the Circle that has become my Circle too.

I was not alone today. I never really was. But perhaps I needed to pass through the gates of my loneliness to earn the embodied experience of feeling just HOW much Love is present for me. And in the end, it turned into one of the most genuine, relaxed, joyful holidays of my Life. Because I was present and not expecting anything of it!

I ate Chinese food on my living room floor, read fairy oracle cards, danced, giggled, and made a bunch of spontaneous art with one of my very best friends. I did not have a Christmas tree. I unwrapped no gifts. I never changed out of my reindeer pajamas. It was perfect.

As I turn in for the night, with another Holiday Season passing away, my Christmas Wish is that all beings may know this freedom—to be and feel and experience Life every day exactly the way they are. On Christmas or a random Tuesday in May. No striving. No regrets or disappointment. I extend my gratitude to the sweet humans who have shared their Love with me today through thoughtful texts, Skype calls, welcoming me into their home, and choosing to dwell in mine. Thank you. The Christmas Spirit is alive and well in my heart.

In Soul, Danielle

What we Really Lose When we Hold On.

“The woman you are becoming will cost you people, relationships, spaces, and material things. Choose her over everything.”
— Unknown

In the quiet stillness of Winter Solstice, Autumn’s lesson got to me in the eleventh hour: I can’t hold myself and hold onto everyone at once. In everything, there is loss, whether I think I’m choosing it or not. For in choosing to hold it all—I’m losing myself.

I’ve received this lesson before, but my mind is pretty clever about convincing me to hang on to just about everything. If I’m being completely honest, I feel like I hang on to most things as much as I ever have, I’m just more discerning now about which I form a connection with in the first place. A healthier city, more supportive friends, beautiful teachers and spiritual practices, and so on. I’m so blessed. And it’s big progress, but I know I still get hooked.

Hanging on is a shadow of this deep-loving heart of mine. Because my love is BIG. But with big love (untrained) comes big attachments. And every attachment gives a little bit of ourselves away.

How? Because attachments tell us that we’re NOT OKAY unless we have those people, those things, that house, so much money in the bank, etc, etc, (unfurl the mile-long list of everything outside of our own being that equates with our okayness). Each one’s a little chip on our shoulder saying we’re not enough.

This is self-loss.

This may seem like a no-brainer. Why would we not choose our own Highest Good? But if we don’t value ourselves, self-loss doesn’t feel like such a cost. The other people and things seem more important. We think:

“My boyfriend is the best I’m ever going to get, if I lose him it’s downhill from here.”

“If I follow this tug to change jobs, I’ll destroy my entire network and go broke.”

“No one would want to come visit me in a crappy apartment… I’ll make this spendy place work and take out another credit card.”

I mean, how dramatic does our little wounded ego get? When we start listening, it becomes clear how LITTLE we trust ourselves in this Life, and how little we believe we deserve (or are even capable of connecting with) beautiful people and things.

It’s pretty ridiculous when we listen through Love’s ears or look through Love’s eyes. Because when we love ourselves, we realize that self-loss is the deepest loss. We never can truly show up to meet the people we love, enjoy the spaces we live in, or receive the knowledge/wisdom trying to reach us. We lose everything we were trying to hold on to.

Learning to love and trust and know myself more has been such deep work for me this year. I’m learning how to say “no.” How to draw boundaries based on my own wellbeing rather that my perception of other people’s expectations/needs. How to actually appreciate my solitude. How to prioritize my own work and creativity. And I am IN IT, so don’t be fooled into thinking this has been easy. It’s been a difficult but beautiful process, one I am deeply grateful for. I feel more in touch with my authentic self and at home in my Life than I ever have.

I write this post now, before “the holidays,” for a reason: to encourage each of you beautiful, individual, perfect humans to honor yourself this week.

Open your heart to receive what you love about these traditions, but consider what your spirit truly desires and what your inner-child truly needs to feel safe and loved. Make space for yourself. Don’t feel obligated to be anything other than you are exactly in this moment. Beautifully enough. Your only obligation is to bring your Truth to the table, even if that means saying “no” or choosing something completely new.

Take a moment to consider if  you are carrying any attachments, expectations, or fears into this week, and see if you can lovingly release them—or at least soften them a bit. We never know what is waiting in the wings for us, ready to enter as soon as we make the space.

May the clarity of this sacred time of year be present with each of us as we bring this year to a close and open ourselves to the new Life wanting to be born through us every day, in every moment.

In Soul, this Christmas and always,


Cutting Down

What’s it going to take for us to believe in our own potential and resiliency? I think about the impossible feat of a tiny acorn becoming the majestic oak. Looking at that dinky seed in our palm, our mind would never believe it. Greatness? In this? Madness! But, yet, it is true. Somehow, that little seed undergoes miracle after miracle, rising a little more each day. Wilting perhaps, or even getting trampled upon. But this is the glory of nature, and the great wonder of the Universe. The inconceivable occurs every day. We, dear ones, are like this too.
And what keeps us going? Faith.
What keep us buried? Doubt, darkness, and staying in our little shells.
I’m a recovering self-bully. The shit that’s come out of my own psyche in my own direction is downright cruel in many instances, and I share this not for sympathy because I know this self-sabotage is RAMPANT among damn near everyone I know. Even among the brightest Lights and the most gifted Artists and Leaders. Role models even!
Enough! When did it become so normalized to treat ourselves so badly? When did we forget that inside of ourselves was the seed of an incredible Tree of Life, waiting to root down into Mother Earth and stretch our limbs to the Heavens? This is our Truth, and we must not forget it.
I, for one, am so over not believing in myself. Because whether or not I acknowledge it, I will always have the capacity to grow that much. To GIVE that much (I mean, just think for a moment how much LIFE is sustained by a single tree.) We must not dishonor our own beautiful potential with harshness and criticism. Our work is to get quiet—watch and listen for what we ourselves need in nurturance to grow into our fullness and rootedness. And then do it.
As a sapling in this Circle of Life, I see and honor each of you in your growth, your process, and your potential. I believe in you, and I pray you can believe in you too.
Sending Light to all beings, Danielle

Another Woman Steps Forward


When I woke up this morning, my Facebook feed was flooding with two simple words—”me too.” Two words that encapsulate a lifetime of the feminine experience.

In light of breaking news about Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long history of Hollywood sexual assault, women around the world are stepping forward on social media in solidarity. The task, introduced on Twitter by actress Alyssa Milano, is simple but strong:

Over 6,000 women have since stepped forward; I am one of these women.

The first time I was sexually abused was before I had the cognitive capacity to even understand what it meant to be female, or what it meant to have a body that was my own. A man 35 times my age took me, a golden-curled infant girl, into the bath and probed his fingers inside of me. This was not an isolated incident, and it continued without anyone’s knowledge for several years. These remain my earliest memories—ones I’ve spent most of my life trying to forget.

The trend of sexual violation continued into my adulthood:

When as a teenager, within a month of drinking alcohol for the first time, I woke up after a party with my pants twisted half-way off my hips and hazy flashbacks of my barely-conscious body being picked up off the couch and carried into a side-room to be fondled in my sleep by a boy I had barely spoken to.

When in college, I went out for a night of dancing with my girlfriends, only to have a stranger appear behind me and literally shove his hand up my skirt and into my vagina. On the dance floor. Surrounded by people who did nothing when I screamed.

When I woke up in the morning with my boyfriend’s d*ck prodding up against me as I lay quietly, pretending not to notice, because no one ever told me that partnership didn’t equate to unlimited consent.

Or when I moved to Hollywood and attended a movie premier and had to literally fight off some big-wig producer who was drunkenly dragging me into his Uber to “just have some fun for the night”—as if my shaky-voiced “nos” sounded like I was having fun.

And don’t even get me started on the infinite micro-violations of cat calls, uninvited d*ck pics, ass-grabs, and sexually-charged comments I’ve gotten from men I didn’t know, worked for, or straight-up had no interest in.

It took years of emotional therapy, meditation, and yoga for me to put the pieces together. When the light bulb moment went off, and I understood that what happened to me was in fact a real and formative trauma, it was like the missing piece to the puzzle of my life. Suddenly every mystery of my being made sense.

Why I was terrified to use a tampon for years. Why I cried the first time someone showed me porn. Why I was ceaselessly attracted to every kind of unavailable man. Why I consistently convinced myself that turning down someone’s sexual advances was “harsh,” “bitchy,” or “mean.” Why my nervous system shuts down after witnessing a man become hostile, leaving me physically collapsed for hours even when the aggression isn’t directed at me.

I speak from personal experience, but this is not just my story.

When I reclaimed my truth as an abuse survivor and started opening up to people in my life, woman, after woman, after woman met me with another tearful “me too.” It became shockingly clear to me that not only was my experience not rare, but it was one that a majority of women share. Nearly every woman I confided in had their own painful story to share. At one point, I started a women’s healing circle, and as we went around sharing our opening intentions, we realized that literally every single woman in the room had been molested or raped.

According to non-profit organization “Safe Horizon,” one in five women today have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime. One in ten women were molested before the age of 18. The statistics are even more horrifying for LGBTQ women and women of color. And that’s just those of us who choose to report.

And could you blame us for not wanting to? Case after case illustrates how women’s honest accounts are invalidated, ignored, or worse, met with more violence and hostility. The past couple years alone have been a testament to this. Brock Turner’s scott-free release, Bill Cosby’s shameful trial, or most recently, Rose McGowan’s account of being blacklisted after her own rape. Beyond this, one look at the comments section of any woman coming out of the closet with her story online is filled with minimizations, hatred, and cries of “not all men.”

So what do we do? Because I’m not willing to spend my life in fear or in silence, and I never want any other woman to have to do it either.

As f*cking frustrating and scary as it is to share something this vulnerable—knowing on a societal (and often interpersonal) level many people will completely reject our truth—we just have to do it. We have to start with owning our stories. Saying, “Yes, this happened to me. And it wasn’t my fault. And I see you and believe you too, sister.”

We devote ourselves to healing our past, accepting ourselves unconditionally in the present, and fighting for a future where sexual violence is an unacceptable offense. Because while we couldn’t control what happened to us then, we can control how we meet ourselves and our sisters now—with the patience, gentleness, and love that we needed before.

If you or a woman you know has experienced sexual trauma or violation, from the bottom of my heart I ask that you seek out healing and support however you can. Start by getting the words out of your body—whether to a loved one or in the privacy of a journal. Healing starts when we express our truth. Then, I highly recommend seeking counseling. Whether in a women’s circle, or with a therapist, or a sexual survivor’s support group—talk with other women. These spaces exist in every city I’ve ever been, and they really do help. I also have found expression through yoga and art to be profoundly healing. Be willing to try different modalities until something starts to move the pain out from where it’s been buried inside all this time.

My path of healing has been a long and winding road filled with mistakes and tears, but also profound connection and love. This is a lifelong work, but it is worth it. Because when we honor our experience and make space for healing ourselves and our sisters, we reclaim our pleasure, our feeling, and our very aliveness.

I refuse to be a victim in this life. I refuse to let my story limit who I get to be in this world. I believe in healing, I believe in the power of love, and I’m committed to being a voice for this movement. We can—and we will—rise above.

The social structures that allow sexual violence to continuously occur are not going to transform overnight, but we can contribute to being a force of love and change in this world.

If you feel called to take action, here are several trusted organizations doing amazing work to prevent sexual assault and support victims of sexual abuse:

RAINN: the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the country.

NO MORE: prevents sexual violence through programs with a coalition of allies, advocates, survivors, government agencies, and individual citizens.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC): prevents sexual violence through education, collaboration, and resources for survivors.

End Rape On Campus (EROC): works to specifically address and prevent widespread sexual assault that happens in colleges.

The Consensual Project: partners with schools to educate students on consent. It’s giving young people resources on how to have conversations about consent.

We cannot fear our truth, or that of any other human being we share this life with. I honor each of you in every moment. I honor your experience, your process, and your path.

We are here, and we are not alone.

In Soul, Danielle


Why we Willingly Carry our Burdens Around

I’ve noticed how often myself and those around me convince ourselves that carrying burdens is worth the weight (and the wait).

It’s as if we’ve accepted that feeling weighed down by life is just a “part of the deal.” We’ll feel light and good when we get the promotion, when the kids are out of the house, when we retire—there is always another mile marker before we get to rest and enjoy.

Is it ever worth it? And what are we carrying anyway?

Most often, it’s the people, places, things, and parts of ourselves that we feel like we couldn’t possibly live without. And I say this quite literally. I’m talking about the things that, when even entertaining the thought of letting them go, we’re met with so much fear that we feel like we’re actually facing death.

These “things” are what we build our sense of safety around—most often our primary relationships (partners, spouses, parents, best friends), our homes, source of income, and material belongings. But sometimes they can be aspects of our identity that we believe are necessary to protect ourselves—strength, independence, likability, privacy, intelligence—anything we’ve deemed “good enough” to catch us when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan.

We hold onto these things for dear life because we don’t trust that we’ll be supported if we let go. We don’t trust life, and we don’t trust ourselves. Without this trust, our very livelihood feels threatened—basically all the time.

I, like all humans, have had my own flavor of vices and crutches to maintain a sense of control in this wild world. Some are a little more trivial, like how keeping a perfectly decorated apartment made my historically missing sense of “home” feel a little closer. But others have embedded into the web of my psyche much more complexly, particularly in the realm of relationships.

Over the past several months, I’ve been learning to see relationships through a new lens. I’m speaking up more, spending more time alone, and letting go of people who I realized weren’t unconditionally supportive of my growth, my well-being, or my loving requests for healthy boundaries. On one particular occasion, with my mouse hovering over the “send” key on a goodbye letter I cried my way through writing, I felt like my heart was breaking beyond revival or repair.

This very real reaction is so extreme because it is, in fact, a death. But the really messed up thing is that it isn’t ours—it’s our ego’s. When we face ourselves with courage and challenge ourselves to let go of everything we’re attached to—everything we’ve told ourselves we “need” to be safe and happy—our ego panics because it knows it cannot survive the sword of truth. The truth that we already are enough, are lovable, and have everything we need for a comfortable, happy life.

From the other side of countless experiences like these, I can tell you it’s always worth it to push through this temporary pain. The weight of living under the thumb of fear (of loss, of losing control, of being alone) is a burden we need not bear any longer. Because what lays on the other side is an incomparable freedom. An unspeakably beautiful lightness. To the mind, it makes no sense, but the rising peace in the heart needs not ask questions.

What’s right for us will always make us feel lighter. What’s right for us is always in support of our freedom and peace. Unconditionally. That’s why, even through the tears of grief, we feel an underlying sense of relief when we let go of something or someone out of alignment. And we are all deserving of this feeling.

If you’re reading this and the stir of anxiety is tousling in your tummy, or the quiet voice in the back your mind is nudging you about a certain someone, job, or whatever it may be—you know what it is, and I know that you can do it. You can let go.

Trust in your deepest inner-knowing so you can live a little lighter.

You already have everything you need.

In Soul, Danielle

(This post was originally published on Elephant Journal)