An evening with Danielle LaPorte: on feelings, joy, boundaries, courage, worthiness, divine feminine and more
Canadian writer and speaker Danielle LaPorte recently took to the stage in Melbourne. After revealing three big lies and one truth about self-improvement, she invited the audience to shout out concepts and questions on which she riffed.
“Let’s go,” Danielle declared. “This is the best part, this is where the magic is.”
Here are some of the philosophical gems and #truthbombs Danielle shared that stood out for me:
“Feelings are facts. Trust is a metric. Compassion is a strategy.”
“Feelings are where your integrity comes from.”
Joy vs. happiness
“Joy is what happens when we’re being ourselves. If we want to know who we are, we just have to follow our joy.”
“Joy is the experience of having contact with your soul.”
“Joy is like the atmosphere, the landscape, the foundation. Happiness is the weather. It’s always fleeting. Like carbonation, it doesn’t last.”
Boundaries vs. barriers
“There’s a difference between having boundaries and barriers.
Boundaries are like a fence.
Your most precious asset, your greatest strength, your sharpest intelligence: your heart. You want to keep it open, you want it to be soft, you don’t want your heart to get hard. You want to live from that place of tenderness. I’m now convinced that tenderness is really the blossoming of spiritual maturity, that you get softer when you grow up. So you want to stay soft, that means you need a fence.
Boundaries are about you being able to move with safety. So the fence, the boundaries, are things like, “I’m not gonna work on weekends”, “I’m not gonna check my phone after 9 o’clock”, “this is how much I wanna get paid”, “Mum, I’m not coming for Christmas this year”.
Because you’ve established what works for you and what doesn’t, you feel safe and you feel peaceful.
Barriers are more like a shield that you carry around, it’s anticipation of the attack coming. You get a little tough, a little cranky. You’re waiting for the disappointment, for the neglect. There’s no peace in that.
Boundaries create clarity, and clarity is where you have freedom from.”
“Being courageous is not an easy thing. Let’s not buy everything we hear on Instagram about feeling the fear and doing it anyway. You’ll be courageous when you’re in enough pain or when the craving is really intense. You actually get to choose what’s gonna motivate you – the pain or the dream, agony or longing.”
“You can’t act courageously if you’re concerned about what other people think of you. This all goes back to the lie of authority and getting someone else’s opinion to validate your existence.”
Permission and self-worth
After running business workshops in 16 cities, Danielle realised people weren’t so much looking for step-by-step guidance to get what they wanted, they were looking for basic permission to want what they wanted, and to just own their own dream, for example:
‘Is it ok for me to want to go get an MBA?’
‘Is it ok for me to want to drop out of the MBA program and be a yoga teacher?’
“This is the tragedy of the human spirit: we don’t even feel worthy of our desires. You can’t have courage until you feel worthy of the dream. You will not manifest the dream if you don’t feel worthy of it.”
So how do you get worthy?
“You treat yourself like a friend. It’s really so simple and so basic I feel like I’m overcharging you by telling you that.”
Turning points and spiritual rebirth
After Danielle was fired from her own incorporation, one of her coaches asked her, “Are you willing to not know yourself to get through this?”
“That was really a pivotal question for me. Am I willing to not know myself, am I willing to not recognise who I’m gonna become on the other side of this?”
“At some point in your evolution you will become unrecognisable to yourself. Which is a really sophisticated way of saying you’re gonna be a mess and someone is gonna come and scoop you off your kitchen floor.”
“The rebirth happens in the honesty.”
language and self-talk
“Be intentional with your word.”
“I never say things to myself like ‘that was stupid’.”
“Notice your dialogue with yourself. How many times do you say, ‘That was so dumb’? Friendliness.”
“Don’t say you’re too busy. We’re all busy, everything that is on your plate got there because you said yes to it. Why don’t you say your life is full?”
Women, men and the divine feminine
When Danielle first came on stage, before she began her talk on self-improvement she invited us to participate in the evening by voicing in unison “the most powerful possible yes to women”, for ourselves and for all of womenkind.
She offered a beautiful series of declarations, including:
“To the women who are devoted to restoring the divine to where it has been pummelled out of memory. To places where our beauty can scarcely be seen, in science and economics and law, laws that our body know are too small to be true for us.
To the women who are renovating broken boardrooms and policies with a justified anger and an overwhelming love… (If you only get one thing from tonight, get this – love is always the right thing to do.)
To the women who do not have access to the most powerful possible yes…to the women who are not free.”
Danielle suggested that we refer to ‘the patriarchal mindset’ rather than ‘the patriarchy’ because “there’s a lot of women that are participating in the patriarchal mindset. And not every man is part of the patriarchy. It’s an attitude, not a gender.”
“The divine feminine is exactly, specifically, particularly what is needed to heal the planet from its current woes. This is why the most powerful possible yes needs to be for women right now.”
“The divine feminine runs through all beings. Men who use their heart as intelligence are the future of love. It takes incredible courage, because there’s criticism that comes with that. You have to expand your bottom line to a triple bottom line. Compassion is not always in the budget, compassion is not the most fiscally responsible thing to do.”
I am so grateful for and inspired by the increasing consciousness of feminine energy in the world over the last few years. I’m certainly not an expert on the Divine Feminine, but I am all for a rebalancing of masculine and feminine energy, and recognition of the value in different forms of strength, power and sources of wisdom (e.g. heart vs. head; introvert vs. extrovert).
Danielle closed the evening by offering a prayer for all of us: “May your beauty dawn on you.”
And she advised, “slow down if you need to but don’t ever stop.”
It was a beautiful way to send us off into the night, hearts full.
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