Unstuck.

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What is standing between you and your dream life? I’m not sure if the question is inspiring or cliche. I do know, however, that this question goes through my head every single morning for the last couple weeks.

The strange part of the question to myself is that I thought I was living my dream. I worked very very hard to teach yoga as my only career and I have achieved that. I am marrying the best man I have ever known in about 2 months. I have a kitty. He’s mean but he has a sweet streak too. I really felt completely whole…for about a year. Now my soul is craving growth. And my heart is telling me that this time it’s going to be a huge jump. Something is whispering in my ear all of the reasons I have to be afraid but my heart is telling me that they are not real obstacles. They are not real whispers. There is nothing, literally nothing in my way…except fear.

I talk about fear a lot in my classes and writing. I talk about it so much that I’ve given it space in my life. I’ve allowed it to exist because I thought I had no other choice.

Something has shifted in me and I know the exact moment it did. It would sound absolutely crazy if I tried to describe it in this blog but ask me to tell you about it next time we meet. Suddenly I was filled and overflowing with intense ignition. This is the word. Ignite. I began to feel and hear whispers saying “I am done hiding behind my truth for fear or rejection or ridicule. I am done second guessing my work here on Earth. I am done feeling small or inadequate. I am ready to step fully into the person I am meant to be.” And I meant it. With fire.

When I tell people this that are accustomed to believe that we have to do things a certain way, or have little faith in a greater infinite spirit inside ourselves- they don’t quite know how to respond. I can make them uncomfortable- even bitter if they are really out of touch with their spirituality. If I can convince even one person that they matter and they are far from alone on this journey then it is worth it to put myself completely out there.

I’ve prayed and meditated on my purpose. I believe in finding purpose so much. We are not here arbitrarily. We are here to do something specific that continues to evolve as we continue to evolve. With each new evolution of our spirit, a higher purpose and opportunity is introduced to us.

I’m feeling big huge brave future for myself right now. I am feeling absolutely limitless in how far I can reach. I am feeling the power to inspire an endless amount of people.

So, naturally when these thoughts slammed into me I wanted to retreat. I sat with them and meditated with them. What I found so interesting was the whispers in my head were soooo loud and so positive. They were the majority of my thoughts so much so that when the negative entity would enter my mind to tell me “who are you to think you are special? Why do you think you can grow any bigger? You don’t have the courage.” I was able to hear it and dismiss it because the majority of my feelings were so positive and encouraging. I allowed myself to have confidence. I allowed myself to feel empowered. I allowed me to believe in me. That became my mantra. “I am allowed to have confidence in myself.

I have a mission. I want to help you see your purpose. I want to help you live a full life. I want you to know, beyond a doubt, that you deserve to live with purpose and pride. I can think of a million ways to share this truth with everyone. And writing in this blog every single day will serve as one way. Teaching yoga and workshops will be another. I will indulge every single idea that comes to me without regard to ‘if it works out’.  If it touches one person then that will be perfect. So worth it.

Follow along with my journey and please allow me to follow yours. Leave comments, email me, call me, hug me, dance with me, and love me forever! I will answer every single comment left.

If this sounds crazy, that’s okay. It’s my truth. I feel empowered and motivated and inspired by my spirit guides. I am not alone on this journey. As a matter of fact, the more I feel this and pursue this, the more people and life I will attract who are on a similar journey.

Surround yourself with inspiration. Every single day!

Sending so much love to you all! Tons and tons!

Danica Elle

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We do not have time for fear. None.

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There aren’t many people in the world that have a strong desire to teach yoga.You can replace the last few words of that sentence with anything that you have a strong desire to do. Raise a family, run a business, fly planes, serve tables in a restaurant… anything. We don’t all share the same desires or dreams. That is a huge sign to me that we are given these dreams as a pathway to our purpose. Our purpose is unique and no one else will have the exact same purpose as you.

For most of us, it takes a very long time to gain the courage to work towards our dreams or desires. Lots of things hold us back. Fear that we are not good enough to make it is the number one thing that could possibly hold you back forever. It could strangle the real life you are meant to have right out of you. Fear is an entity all of its own. It can convince you, without a doubt, that what your heart truly longs for and daydreams about is out of reach or completely unattainable.

From what I am reading in “The Happiness Hypothesis” I’m understanding that this is the outcome of letting the brain do all the thinking. I know that sounds obvious and kind of silly- of course the brain thinks. What I am talking about is deeper. The brain is meant to serve us, problem solve, administer proper motor functions throughout the body. It is NOT meant to talk us out of something we know we would love. It is NOT meant to convince you that you aren’t worth the risk. It is NOT meant to become more important than the heart. When it comes down to it, you can live without much brain function- not a happy joyful life by any means but you can survive. You cannot live without a heart. It is the soul. It is the essence of life.

To put this into a more personal statement, I have anxiety. It’s new. I’ve never felt anxiety before and it’s awful. Anxiety is strange because it takes very normal everyday activities and turns them into HUGE deals. I would have anxiety about having to have a conversation with a stranger, meeting a yoga teacher, driving a car on the highway, a newfound paralyzing fear of flying… It has prevented me from doing a lot of small things like trainings, retreats, and even small get togethers where I wouldn’t really know anyone. I had a desire to do all of these things I was afraid of. A strong one. I love connecting with people and sharing this passion I have for yoga and life. But this bizarre entity was keeping me still or stagnant. I kept feeling that if my mind has the power to convince me of all of these imaginary circumstances being unattainable then perhaps I could begin to convince my mind of my strength and abilities. Maybe I have had the power all along. Maybe my heart tells my mind what to do and think. How do I do that?

Meditation, yoga, and journaling. Creating a mantra for yourself to embody love over fear.Some of mine are- “You have to love it way more than you’re afraid of it. People generally want to like you and be liked. What I project and share is what I will receive as well. I have a gift to share and gifts to receive. The world desperately needs all beings of light to shine and speak up and inspire. You deserve to be happy. Ignite from within and move with God.” Repeating this until you believe it. Writing it somewhere that you see daily so you really believe it.

The thing is, we really really really need all the love and light we can get. So gather yours and shine it into the world. Fear is not real. You will not fail if you are truly moving from the heart, then it is absolutely God’s will and you will flourish with every brave step you take. I am not saying that this will be easy. It most certainly will not, but how fascinating of a life it is to truly truly live the life you have always dreamed of. To wake up every morning filled with excitement because yo have so much purpose and you are surrounded with light.

“I do not dance around the perimeter of who I am meant to be. I step in fully and completely.” I will not be afraid to speak my truth anymore. I don’t have time to care if others are thinking negatively of me. I am here to inspire, heal, help, and support. I am living my purpose.

I love love love all of you.

xxoooxxo,

Danica Elle

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A beautiful mantra

“At the very instance you think ‘I am happy’, a chemical messenger translates your emotion, which has  no solid existence whatsoever in the material world, into a bit of matter so perfectly attuned to your desire that literally every cell in your body learns of your happiness and joins in.” -Deepak Chopra

This is resonating with me so much today. I keep finding these little gems of advice everywhere I look. I decided to pass this on and hopefully someone that needs to see it will stumble upon it.

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xooxo,

Danica

Social Media Slow Clap Fade Out

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Social media is such a weird beast. Not everyone gets hooked-actually the thought of it immediately turns people off. But for the other 85% of us…this blog is for you. Have you ever really sat for a moment and asked yourself what you’re really benefiting from it? I usually get off social media mad about something political that’s probably just not true or sad because there are so many animals that need to be rescued. Why is there no in between? 😉

There’s a ton of different ways now to communicate with friends and family all over the world. Facebook- the perfect site to post all of your baby pictures, wedding photos, aggressive political posts, quizzes about the meaning of your name(?), and to celebrate made up holidays. Facebook was my introduction into social media- wait for it- 11 years ago. It was brand new and I was 20/21 years old. You had to be in college to join, with a college email. Parents had not joined. It was a different time. As soon as I heard of Facebook and Myspace I thought it was the dumbest idea in the world. It sounded like such a lame waste of time. BUT, a guy I had a crush on was on there so I joined to be friends with him.

When I got on, I was surprised how many people I knew on there. It was exciting to become friends with everyone in this online outer space world. I was hooked the first day on checking to see how many more friend requests I had. I was collecting friends. It didn’t even matter how much I really knew them.

So I moved to NYC pretty soon after it all started blowing up in the college world. Myspace was still around but people were becoming less interested. Smartphones weren’t a huge thing yet and people still talked to each other while out in the world. I miss that.

While living in NYC, I remember being excited to go to FEDEX once or twice a month and check my facebook and email. I didn’t have a computer and got along just fine without it at the sweet age of 22 in acting school. I needed my imagination more than I needed a screen. I cannot begin to explain how much I accomplished that year in such a short amount of time. I had zero distractions. I was really living in the moment and Facebook was only there for a 5 minute block every couple weeks.

Now, 10 years later, it is only a place for ridiculous completely untrue articles about the country or world. It is filled with politics, baby questions, new mom frustrations, political battles and personal attacks on your beliefs, vacation pictures, rants about school systems, invites to things you live nowhere close to, and requests from people you know nothing about.

My problems with facebook and the addiction I feel for it is this: I’ve got things to do, man. I seriously have things to accomplish. I want to stick to my deadlines writing a book, create interesting classes and workshops to teach, I want to spend time with friends and family completely and totally there, I want to connect with what I have in my life today. Right now. I notice when things get challenging- instead of sticking with it and learning something about it- I tune out on stupid social media that infuriates me with lack of passion and compassion.

I no longer feel connected to facebook. I still share pictures and I still love to see what my friends are doing but I wonder if I would keep up with them in a way more personal way if I cut social media loose. I wonder if I would write more and feel more inspired. I wonder if I would feel completely okay with where I am in life if I relied my attention on that place rather than on what everyone else is doing with their life. I want to read things that will fuel my love for life and not scare the shit out of me. I want to grow my passion and hinder my distractions. I want to connect in a personal and true way to as many like minded people as possible.

The problem is, we think we have time. An endless amount of time. If you know exactly what’s getting in your way and distracting you from clarity, peace of mind, or your dream- ummmmm….get rid of it.

So I am going on a 6 month hiatus from social media. I’m going to use my extra time to read, write interesting blogs, make youtube yoga tutorials, plan my wedding, spend sweet time with my sweetheart, and continue growing my love community. I do not think it will be easy to cut social media at first, honestly. I love to share and connect. I do think I will notice what I am avoiding by jumping on it instead of writing for my book or creating more classes. I do think my inspiration will grow exponentially. That’s the point of it all.

Expect a new blog every week about what’s inspiring me lately. I have a feeling I’m going to feel a real freedom.

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Loving you!

Danica Elle (soon to be Mrs. Danica Haverkamp!!!)

The amazing experiences that come from facing fears…

“Everything seems impossible until it’s done”

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I love love love this quote. It has been my theme all week. I would like to relate it to yoga on the mat and then to my life out in the world.

Let me introduce you to a class of mine. They are so wonderful. A room full of women in the middle of their work day come to yoga and they are all beginners. I do a lot of yin with them because I know they love it but I also feel a need to throw some challenges at them from time to time too. When I do they would laugh at me and without even trying it would say I can’t do that. So yeah, they were right. Their bodies would say “oh we can’t? okay.” So I had enough of this. I know how capable these women are and they are getting in their own way. So I began this theme. Inviting them to simply try before prejudging their bodies. Come to the mat every class and check in with your ever changing energy. Some days you will be so surprised at what you can do and how strong you are becoming….and some days you will be frustrated that you can’t do something today that you could do yesterday. Life happens. Your body needs something different everyday. Your mind needs to be open to these possibilities of change and growth and surprise.

Practicing this for an hour every week or a few times a week, whatever your practice may be, will not only improve your yoga on the mat but your yoga in the real world as well. New stuff is hard sometimes. Relate that to your life however you need. Facing something new in any way is going to seem huge. Face it anyway, take your time facing it.

I’m 31 and have started my life over from scratch now about 5 or 6 times. As in, I got rid of everything I owned and could pack everything I did own into a 50 pound suitcase. (okay 65 pounds.) Yes it was scary and there were plenty of times I thought I was out of my league. Let that fuel you. Nothing is random. You did not randomly chose to be where you are in life. You are not randomly staying where you are in life. You are in it. Facing it. Falling in it. Failing sometimes maybe. Succeeding definitely. Because you are living it. I think the term fearlessly is thrown around loosely. I love the word and the vision it brings to mind but I think it is important remember that it is not the absence of fear. To me, fearlessly means to move forward in the face of fear. You are not carrying the fear with you. Acknowledge it because it is there to teach you something- it is not there to hold you back from living the best life you can imagine.

The first time I remembering feeling fear in my adult life was when I moved to NYC from Virginia when I was 21 years old. I sub leased a tiny apartment in Soho for the summer before acting school started- and when I say tiny I really mean the bedroom was pretty much the kitchen. I think jail cells are bigger. I didn’t see the place before I moved into it. I had only been to NYC like twice in my life. I was a truly sincere sweet naive southern country girl. My sister Nikki and me loaded my little Honda civic up to the max with lamps and hangers (I had no closet in that place), boxes of shoes and clothes, my prized possession stereo…pretty much all of it had to go back with her because there was no room. Not even for a lamp. Rewind a little bit, even driving into the city was out of the question for me. I pulled off as soon as we went through the tunnel to let Nikki drive to Soho because I was scared. My freaking car got towed that night because I had no idea to read street parking signs because I am from the country. I didn’t even know how to find where they towed my car because I had only been there 12 hours! Luckily a stranger passed by and overheard us and told me. The first few days were fun because I had Nikki and it felt like vacation but then she left with my car and all my stuff and I was alone in a big city. Hell yeah I was scared! I feel the need to mention that the night before I left my hometown, a few mean girls who were also my roommates and friends posted a bunch of mean signs about me all over our place of work and facebook. So I no longer felt welcome in my hometown either. I am sure this wasn’t an accident but rather something to force me into this new phase of my life without looking back. This was my new reality now and I needed to find out what that was going to look like.

So it was my first Saturday night and I lived in the middle of downtown New York City!  I was sitting on my fire escape smoking a cigarette (yes I used to smoke. don’t judge me.) and I could hear the horns from the cabs, the screams from the excitement of the city, cats meowing randomly; I thought I cannot just sit here in my jail sized apartment in New York City. I got ready and decided to walk over to Bleeker street and get a drink. I felt awkward at first. But I did it. I met some people and hung out for about an hour and before I went home I was asked on a date for the next day. The date went nowhere at all but I got to walk around the city and learn about some new things with someone. I had fun. I let this trend continue all summer. I loved my neighbors in Soho and we got to do a ton of fun things together. They knew someone that owned a boat so we got to take it out on the Hudson one night and look at the amazing city. That skyline still takes my breath away. When we brought it back to dock it, my neighbor was trying to hold onto it to pull it in and fell in the Hudson. So gross. That river is gross. I finally found a job at a tiny diner in Soho. It was a 5 table place. Made a friend in the only other person that worked there and wandered around the city with him a lot too. He was a 37 year old actor. He said his agent told him that he would easily be cast as a rapist or murderer. One of the funniest guy I’ve ever known.

Just little bits and pieces of awesome memories that stemmed from facing my fear of being on my own. Facing this fear as soon as it hit me allowed me to move all over the place on my own and figure out who I am completely on my my own. Facing the fear only brought me positive experiences.

So here I was first month in NYC with 4 or 5 friends and experiences that will last my whole lifetime. Fear did not stop me from having the times of my life even though it sure tried. Learning to live with my new circumstances was important. I am sure my story is way more trivial than some out there, but the motto is still the same. I still had to DECIDE everyday to live positively in the face of fear and change.

Just thinking about New York City and how challenging it really is to live there makes me so excited to eventually write it all down. Bravery is following your heart, being scared, and doing it anyway. My morning meditation today reminded me that in order to move forward into the next amazing chapter of our lives, we must remain completely open to change, open to new ideas, open to feeling fear, open to all new opportunities and finding the light within them. Nothing is random. What are you learning from your life right now? Full awareness of life, God, your unique light or gift, and how you are learning to use it.

Feel free to tell me the first time you remember facing a big fear.

I am always sending you so much love.

xoxooxox

Danica Elle

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Working hard towards my dream…first step…

frpm medAs I mentioned in my last post, until a week or two ago this dream was too big to even consider realistic for me. I was working at a job that barely paid my bills and feeling like I was suffocating in misery. I know that sounds dramatic but I honestly felt that way. I prayed and prayed for God to light up my path and give me the motivation to work for it. I know it doesn’t come easy. This dream is to open up my own yoga center that uses yoga as therapy for depression, fibromyalgia, and cancer recovery. Yes it is a big dream for a girl that was waiting tables in a small cafe just a week ago. It was unlike any other dream I have ever had though because the thought of never pursuing it is WAY SCARIER than going after it.

So here I am. My very first leap of faith (if you don’t count moving to Hawaii alone on a whim from Brooklyn a leap of faith) but a leap of faith towards my calling. I put in my notice with the most gratitude to my boss. She is lovely. And I have started a kickstarter to help me fund the first stepping stone of my dream. I am designing yoga shirts that radiate positivity and love and am going to sell them everywhere I can! I am going to pour my heart into this first step as if it was my dream! I am going to make this work. I am going to live my dream.

For anybody that may be interested in helping me to promote this dream or if you are able to pledge to this dream on kickstarter, I would be forever grateful! I am offering rewards for pledges too. No donation is too small! I want to help inspire the world that they can live happy. No one is alone in this world. We are all here together.

Visit my website http://www.danicayoga.com for more info about what I do.

If you want to watch my video on kickstarter please please do and share!  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/356671339/designing-yoga-tanks-with-inspirational-words-and

I love you all and thanks for joining in on a girl’s dream!