Dani, I miss you. As we approach one year of you being a Guardian Angel and Guiding Light, I write this as a tribute to you. Thank you, immensely for all that you have illuminated for me and for all of those you have impacted.
As I feel sad in this moment, I can feel you hugging me in condolences as your compassionate heart wants to see a smile re-appear to my face. Don’t worry, it always does when I picture the ‘Who the f do you think I am?!?’ blank stare you’d give me when I demonstrated a new yoga pose for you to try next.
I feel your guardian angel energy casting protection into all four corners of my room when I’m uneasy and when I travel into new spaces.
I feel you unconditionally wishing the best for me and smile at the memory of you giving me your thoughtful parting gifts - you know the kind that the giver knows almost nothing about but has gone out of their way to research and venture to another side of town to get because she knows it’s your thing. God, it takes a special person to do this.
We didn’t know it would be forever in the physical form but far from parting as Spiritual Family.
We lost this divine, loving, fierce, badass, rockstar, tell-it-like-it-is warrior at age 33. At this time, we gained an illuminating guiding light and guardian angel.
Our time together on this Earthly realm was not long, actually. Only a few months being in the same place, but they were an immensely impactful few months. I had just quit my high-paying consultant job and ended my 4-yr relationship with the one who I had envisioned spending the rest of my life with to become a yoga teacher and pursue my passions as a way of living - yep, it was a rollercoaster of a time. Let me tell you, I had an inner knowing it would get figured out, but I also had no idea what the f*ck I was doing and if it would actually be possible. (I can also assure you teaching in studios was incredibly fulfilling, but on a very practical level it was not paying even half of my Washington DC rent.)
I was asking the Universe to throw me a bone (or 5) letting me know I took the right leap of faith and that I could make it work, that I could continue doing what lights me up and also thrive, that I could answer my soul’s callings and also experience a fully-functioning abundant life, because if not, I’d be couch-surfing pretty soon and tbh, that’s just not my preferred mode of living!
Shortly into my newly experimental-phase of the follow-your-dreams life (and practicing trusting the Universe hard AF), I received a DM from Dani’s assistant (who also has become a sacred sister and whom I deeply cherish) looking for a private yoga teacher to come teach in her home for the 2 of them, and need to be ok with the dogs (little did she know I’d been craving puppy yoga of my own!). I answered the call and we got started right away.
Dani was the type that would call you out on your sh*t but it never felt like criticism or judgement, it was clear she so genuinely wanted the best for you and saw your worth, even when you couldn’t see it for yourself. THIS is an art that I have very rarely experienced the delivery with such finesse from anyone else.
Themed yoga classes curated to move at a pace that was both empowering through challenges and also offered the time and space to slow down, holding the space in savasana a bit longer than planned when I could feel it was needed, and easily putting off other work to make time for long summer morning heart-felt chats and puppy hangouts were what defined my very special last 6 weeks in America.
Student attitudes of “I can’t do this” soon became “I’m strong AF.” Teacher doubts of “Am I even a good teacher?” soon became “This is really my purpose.” What began as once a week classes soon became 3. We really fed off of each other and though I didn’t really know the extent of impact Dani was having on me, I knew my heart and soul were being nourished every time I went to that urban apartment. I’ve learned that feeling of something feeling that good is often all we need to follow.
I admired Dani for her accomplishments as a badass business woman, owning a large company (pretty sure not her first) by age 33. I loved being in the aura of a woman who had ‘made it happen’ and also was fearlessly HERSELF; uncensored, raw, she once described herself as a ‘bullet in a china shop’ and it’s not an inaccurate depiction. She was so grateful for what our time together was changing within her, she was paying me more than I was asking for (Who else would do this?? Very few in my experience - but Dani had an undeniably big + generous heart!) and our increased frequency of classes were now covering almost a full month’s rent. I share this because it was massive expansion in debunking my own belief that there was the possibility that doing what I love and answering the callings of my soul and affording life had to be mutually exclusive. It was now confirmed in my heart that I was on the right path and I am forever grateful for Dani showing this to me early on.
Our sessions together took on a life of their own. Tackling the physical asanas (yoga postures) one step at a time soon became overcoming life obstacles one action-step or perspective-switch at a time. Home practice physical assignments began including late night readings of my favorite Deepak Chopra books I had passed along. The practice of listening and connecting to the body opened up deep inner emotional healing and access to her higher self. What began as this badass armor softened into vulnerable heartache.
She opened up to me. It was deep. It was beautiful, sacred, and radically life-changing. I saw her darkness and I saw straight through it into her immense light that so badly wanted to emerge without restraint to change the world.
She wanted to spread healing and motivation and empowerment especially to women to stand strong in their power, to use their voice, and see their own worthiness.
One morning in confidentiality (this was an understandable ego-fear request that it be kept between us, which is why I’m allowing myself to break the truce now), she told me she started writing a book. I wish so much that I got to read it. Damn, what I would do now to even read a couple of pages. Though, shortly after her death, I would be awoken in the middle of the night to write. My hand was taken to the paper by a force much greater than my own, so perhaps I did get to read what was in the book that she started. I have warmth and peace in my heart in the trust and sacredness that I get to finish something she started.
This is one gift she has left with me, along with a few other essential musings that she wants to be out there and I feel honored to share now.
When she was here, we had a long conversation about when to speak up and one thing she said was she definitely feels more suffering and regret from not saying something, than saying it. She shared that with such conviction, it stuck with me like a permanent tattoo. Those moments of wanting to express to someone how they made you feel hurt, small, patronized, unfairly judged, but you’d also like to keep the peace and avoid confrontation? Her words come in now and get me to SAY IT. The times when you’re clear about what you want and the standards you hold for yourself, but maybe it seems a little bold to be so direct, so instead you justify internally? Nope, there’s much more magnetism and less regret to just SAY IT. Those moments of wanting to share your love and appreciation for someone, but the fear of rejection stops you in your tracks? Let Dani’s message get you to SAY IT.
She has also been very clear with me (from the other side) that this also goes for your own services and offerings. We have a lot of issues with self-promoting (at least I did!!) but it is a disservice to withhold what you might be able to offer someone that can be so magically life-changing to someone else. You don’t need to push or sell anything, but without even creating the invitation, there is a block in the flow of energy that is best for spiritual evolution and the highest good of all.
Another clear, embodied message from her: Simply do more of the things that bring you joy and with the people who lift you up. We spoke of this often - I think all of our looping conversations actually ended up coming back to these two principle ways to live. You’ve heard it a million times, but we need reminders all of the time to check in if we are really doing it, and my reminder is the memory I still hold in my vision of the deep presence of our eye contact in our conversations when the session was over but neither of us were ready to get on with the next part of our day (pretty sure our souls understood that connections like this and the transmissions that come out of them are our real work on this Earth).
Since her passing, she shows up for me in times of sadness, loneliness, and self-doubt when I need a little boost of fire to see my own light. And just like a true friend, she also shows up for me in good times and times of celebration, cheering me on through little reminders that ground me and inspire me to stay in my flow.
She shows up often through urges to share something in a post, to follow a ping to create a woman’s course (my most favorite creation of which her energy really pushed me along and continually inspires me in its formation and growth), through frequent little reminders that I’m always being guided and supported through the repeating 3’s: pausing the stopwatch at exactly 3:33, checking the time at 3:33, or the bill being exactly 33:33.
And just like our practices took on their own evolution in unexpected ways, so has my connection to her on the other side, especially now as I reflect and connect. This is actually what got my hands back to typing today, the message that she wants me to acknowledge that when I’m referring to ‘her’ or connecting with her as this divine energy, that it’s actually much greater than her individual soul essence. Something that words are not able to capture, but we can try. It is like this vast, Divine Feminine energy casting swirling, glittering, purple white and gold and pink and green light onto this Earth, each time we allow it to come through us as human vessels. It has an alchemical effect, bringing more life and purpose into whatever it touches. And when we’re allowing it to come through, this light spreads and it touches more of those who were asking and ready, but maybe not even knowing what to expect. It manifests as feelings of doubt or despair that are suddenly washed away by remembering that your soul essence just wants to express itself as love and to experience joy in this human form. It’s the energy that has fun along the whole journey and laughs a lot and does the things that are scary but they leave you with a feeling of crying and laughing at the same time because you’re so proud of discovering what you are capable of.
If this sounds woo-woo to you that’s ok, because this is the unique expression of how source flows through me and lets me know I am in such alignment with the higher powers in these moments. Some will feel it similarly, and some will have a completely different experience, but this connection is available all of the time and whatever your experience of it is, it is perfect.
And so why is this coming through now?
It is coming up on one year of her loss to the inner darkness that won the battle this time around, but her legacy continues to carry on. On February 11, 2020 it will be one year we gained our 33-yr old Angel. I find it is not coincidence that the Full Moon today (February 9) is at exactly 3:33PM here in Bali, where I am now based and where she had plans to come last year and didn’t make it - where I envisioned us running mad sh*t as a badass femme team together, and I happened to get the pings into my consciousness to honor this synchronistic connection for this full moon. The messages she wanted to bring forth, she is helping to make sure are being delivered through other vessels, I am deeply honored and grateful to be one of them.
I see the anniversaries of losses as a time to honor and connect to the sacred souls who no longer walk the Earth in physical form with us. And on this sacred Full Moon occurring at exactly 3:33 practically overlapping with this anniversary of our forever 33-yr old blessing, I re-commit to my calling to carry forth the messages that were coming through her to empower, inspire, guide, and create unity amongst Sisters, near and far, in spreading healing, love, light, laughter, and feminine power all over the world.
Part of the gift I gave her before leaving DC (taking a major leap of faith boarding a flight that same day starting a whole new life abroad!) was one of those boards you can change the letters to write a quote and the elected quote said: “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History.” It was part of her funeral memorial and it is one of those undying gifts from Dani that reminds me to drop the Spiritual Chauvinism (a spiritual person looks like xyz) or trying to be PC or an expert before sharing your story or fear of judgment, even when the easier option is to stay quiet.
So here I am, sharing my story and experience with loss, in one way and with one soul. This has been deeply healing and special for me to write, because she has been deeply healing and a special presence in my life and tremendously impactful in my journey of growth, stepping into my purpose, and realizing my worth. Her humanly form wasn’t able to fully see the impact she had on others, but her spirit certainly does and I can feel her smile and Angelic lightness in such.
I hope this story touched you in some way, whether you’ve experienced similar loss or not, we are all capable of understanding the wide spectrum of feelings and emotions of each other. This version mostly captures the lightness and blessings she left and the transmissions this divine energy wants to pass on in this moment, but there are also other versions of this grief story that look like immense sadness and void, stuck in the bed for days, rage running to the edges of the beach to find privacy and scream at the world and throw rocks because everything feels incredibly unfair. If you are grieving, I hope this story makes you feel less alone. I hope maybe it can spark a way that you can connect deeper to those who have passed on to the other side or simply be more open to the ways they are always guiding and supporting you on your path. I hope it gives you permission (not that you need it) to go about grief in your own way, whatever that looks like to you, knowing that it will be different for each circumstance, each soul.
So much love to you, Dani. And so much love to her family and friends who have been blessed by her 33 years and now her urging desire to carry her messages forth in healing and empowering the world.