nourish thyself has moved to http://danielleboonstra.com

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To Every Boss I’ve Ever Had

This is not about you.  But we’ll get to that.

I’ve been a cashier, a babysitter, a customer service rep, a receptionist, an administrative assistant, a research assistant and an entrepreneur.  I’ve been promoted, demoted, passed over, hired, fired, praised and chastised.

And oh I’ve felt entitled.  And I’ve felt victimized, invaluable, worthless, and like no one could ever do that job as good as me!  I’ve called in sick when I wasn’t, come in early and stayed late, looked for another job on your computer, done more work than you asked.  I’ve been the best employee you’ve ever had!  And I’ve been the not-so-best one.

And here’s the thing.  It was never about you.  It was always about me.

When I called you incompetent behind your back, it’s because I was scared that I was.  When I hung on your every word searching for the praise, it’s because I secretly felt I was not good enough.  When I swore never to work for someone like you again, it wasn’t because I hated you, it was because somehow I knew I needed to love myself more.

And so I forgive you.  I forgive you for what you have not done.  Every aspect of our relationship was a reflection for me.  It showed me who I was at the time…how I was feeling…how secure (or insecure) I was.

And you…who are you? The mother, the sales rep, the manager, the nurse, the doctor, the VP, the entrepreneur? Oh no, you’re all me.

Because like I said at the beginning, this isn’t about you.  And I can breathe easy now knowing: it never was.

In Gratitude,

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After a Binge ~ A Conversation

I  can’t believe I did it again.  What was I thinking? I am 31 years old! When does it stop??!!

It’s done. Forgive yourself.

What do I do now? I’m a fraud. I’m ridiculous…pathetic. I’m so tempted…

We don’t do that anymore.  You know that.

I’m scared. I’m frightened about what this means. I thought I was beyond this.

You’re going to have moments like this. Forgive yourself. Let love in. Let me in. Listen to me.

I can barely hear you. I need to breathe. I can’t hear you when I breathe deeply. This room feels so small.

I’ll wait for you. You’re worth waiting for.

This is what darkness feels like. It’s so much more than the absence of light; it is the absence of life! I don’t know who I am anymore.

You are love.  You are beauty. You are compassion.

I can hear you. I know what you say is true, but I can’t do it right now.  I just can’t do it right now…

You’ll discover I am a model of patience.

How can I pretend to help anyone else when I can’t help myself? Who do I think I am?

You are an innocent child of God who has forgotten, for a moment, who she is. You help countless others with your honesty, your kindness and your wisdom. Remember where you were and then see how far you have come. This is a lesson in forgiveness my child, nothing more.  You are learning well.

I cannot cry about this anymore. There’s too much to do. I’m a mother, a wife, a friend.

Be a friend to yourself.

I hear you.

Ask for help.

Do I really deserve it though after what I’ve done?

Yes. Ask for help.

“Please help me remember who I am. May I forgive myself. May I begin to see myself with the eyes of Love. May my hunger be fed, my mind cleansed, my spirit renewed.”

And so it is…

I feel it. It’s starting.  This is what light feels like….a gentle swaddle of Love.  I remember  now.  It’s good to be back.

Danielle, you never left.

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Learning at the Speed of Love

I am open today.  I’ve been open for a while.  I’ve been learning at high speed.  I’ve been learning at the speed of Love.

With a mind at peace and my breathing slowed I open myself up to infinite wisdom and I find it everywhere.  I hear it in a song, I read it in a Facebook post, I feel it from my son.  And I absorb it all.  I take it in faster than I could possibly apply it, but it’s there all the same.

There’s no rush.  Let these lessons be a slow burn.  May my light ever-so-slightly glow brighter.  May I walk just that much taller.  May I speak with just a little more humility.  And may I forgive a nano-second more quickly than before.

Patience my dear.

The soil is ready.  The seeds are planted.  The water trickles down.  I need only witness.  I need only watch it grow.  Because while the learning may be rapid, the living need not be. 

Gather up all that serves your highest.  Clutch it to your breast.  Lean your head down to nuzzle it.  Know it is for your best. 

This is how we do it.  This is how we roll.  This is learning at the speed of Love.

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The Write Vibe

I really wanted to write yesterday.  I wanted that feeling of sitting back and witnessing as word after word pours onto the page.  I wanted to be astonished, uplifted at what was coming through me!  To give birth to something needing to be born.

And nothing came.

Who are these people who can write while in the depths of despair?  The ones who write their best work on the spiral down…who are they?  I cannot do it.  Sadness leaves me stagnant.  Grief fences me in.  No for me it is an openness of heart that allows that which wants to be expressed to come through. 

For it is not I who writes.

Yes it is my fingers striking the keys.  It is my eyes glimpsing the screen.  But the words…the words come from some place else.  They come from some divine melting pot of thoughts, loves, hurts and joys.  They originate in an energy field of hope, prayer and potential…buzzing and bursting and waiting for their turn.

And I am the conduit.

I am the one who allows.  But I have noticed that this vessel needs to be vibing with love.  I need to breathe easy, speak calmly, sit quietly.  This is what is required for the spirit to move me.  Anything less results in just that.

Less. 

But with a chest wide open, a mind at relative peace and a willingness to express, I join with that which wants to arrive!  I rub shoulders with the force that wills love into this world.  I am made better.  I am of service.  And with effortless poise and ease, I write.

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At My Side

There’s room here at my side.  Amid the diaper bag and the knapsack.  There’s room.  Between the angels and the guides.  Among the papers and the lists.  There’s room.

There’s room here in my heart.  Amid the children and the grandparents.  There’s room.  Between the lovers and the friends.  Among the parents and the departed.  There’s room.

There’s room here in my day.  Amid the naps and the lessons.  There’s room.  Between the writing and the reading.  Among the meals and the toasts.  There’s room.

Because I’ve been there.  I’ve wondered why me.  I’ve questioned.  And the answer is yes.  You are worthy.  You are loved.  You give me as much as I give you.  I need you too.

All I learn is not in vain.  I share it with you.  I discover with you.  I don’t “fit you in”, I welcome you.  I don’t deign to speak to you, I desire it.  I am not bothered, I am blessed.

There is room here at my side.  So let us walk together.  Let us walk knowing we are sisters.  Let us walk knowing we are one. 

This post was written in honour National Mentor Month.

Any woman seeking to find a mentor or be a mentor, please check out http://herfuture.com.

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That I am You

I could get really specific about what tempts me…what holds me back…what appears to keep me from my goals.  I could list the people, the foods, the activities.  I could go there with the excuses and wax poetic about how hard life is.  I could…but I will not.

It begins and ends with me.

And as long as I inhabit this body, I am the one who steers its course.  I am at the wheel.  No one and nothing but me makes my life.  What I see before me, I have dreamt once before.  I have no one to praise, and no one to blame.  It is me and the spirit that moves me…nothing more.

And this is as true for me as it is for you.  For I am you.  So when I look at you, I see not she who I should judge or compete with.  I see myself and I am content.  My heart sighs and my hand reaches out.  I take you with me.

It is not easy, but it is simple.  My excuses serve only to complicate the simplicity and to distance myself from the goal.  The goal is Love.  The goal is revelation.  The goal is truth.  To live that which has always been and always will be true.  That I am you.  And we are Love.

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The Making of a Year

I lay back and sigh.  It is done already.  I have intentions.  I speak them.  I write them down.  I picture them in my mind.  And so it is.

I am the maker that makes.

For what I plan to do is already done.  It exists out there and needs only to be breathed in and out.  It needs only for me to call it forth, to dance with it and let it go.  Let it spin and catch fire and spread.

For my idea has already been thought.  It lives in a bubble above my head and it floats.  It waits for me to reel it in.  It hovers above me with loving patience.  It needs only for me to be ready, to burst it and let it rain.  Let it rain over us all.

For this Love has always been.  It exists beyond the beyond.  It calls me home.  It whispers my names…all the names I have called myself these many, many ages.  Through strife and through triumph, through wind and through stillness it has been there.  It is.  It is all there is.

And though I make this year, I know it has been done.  I intend with an open heart.  I am learning.  With Love, all is possible.  With Love, I have it made.

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And Then My Soul Craved Beauty

I did not know how bad it had gotten.  I did not know.

How starved my spirit had become, I did not know.

How shallow was my breathing, I did not know.

How bland was the food I ate, I did not know.

How cut off from love I was, I did not know.

And then my soul craved beauty…

So slowly, slowly I began to awaken to a world that had beat on all the while…all the while I fitfully slept.  It shone and it danced.

Here the food was bright, healthy and delicious.  Here were gentle friends with a ready smile and open arms.  Here money came easily and was given away with an open heart and unyielding faith.  Here feelings were felt and then released for all knew only love is real.

And I knew this was right.  I knew this was true.  That this is how the world works and always has.  That you are loved and valued for exactly who you are.  That you are supported through wind and rain, through pleasure and pain, through all your soul calls forth.

And I sighed with relief.  For though I had been asleep these 30 years, I had awoken to the beauty that had rocked me all this time.  And I was forgiven.

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How Getting Sick Taught Me to Lighten the Heck Up

I’ve been sick since Friday morning.  Barely able to eat (though I just managed to eat some macaroni…yay!), sleeping constantly and feeling very drained.  It has made me appreciate the lightness that is health.  I feel like I did when I was pregnant.  And while I love my 2 babies like there’s no tomorrow, let me put it this way: Please. God. No.  When I was pregnant I was nauseous and exhausted for 3 months straight.  I know this isn’t unusual, but it sucked.  A lot.

Anyways, I was feeling like that again.  I haven’t been sick like that since I was pregnant, but this time I really didn’t feel sorry for myself.  I went to bed and I rested.  I gave thanks for the times I feel really vibrant and healthy which is MOST of the time!  I also gave thanks to myself for carrying my 2 children while feeling so crappy.  Yes, they are totally worth it, but again…it sucked.  A lot.

Being sick has also been teaching me to Lighten the Heck Up.  So I share with you here some things you may not know about me.  Let’s nourish ourselves with some silliness shall we?

– I laugh when people fall down.  Keep in mind, I’ll always make sure they’re ok, but…I laugh first.

– Arrested Development and Ricky Gervais make me pee my pants!  Granted, I’ve given birth to 2 children so that’s not hard to do, but still!  Very funny.

– I love wine.  I know quite a bit about it too, but love learning more.  I often wish that it didn’t make me tipsy so quickly, but then if it didn’t, would I love it as much?  Probably not.

– I love romance.  Not really the Harlequin stuff, but I suppose I’ve never given it a good go.  I just love the idea of 2 people finding each other, sharing everything and loving each other anyways.  Mmmmm….

  – My kids make me laugh everyday.  Everytime my 5-year-old daughter farts, my 2-year-old son comes up to her, pats her on the bum and says “It ok”.  Not sure what exactly is ok, but it makes me laugh my ass off.

– I love flirting.  Even though 99% of the time it’s with my husband and 99% of that goes right over his head, I love it still.  It affirms my girlishness.

And so thank-you stomach virus (not pregnant)!  You made me remember it’s ok to be ridiculous.  There are lots of lessons to learn and people to forgive, but ultimately, joy is just another vehicle to help get us there.  Yay!

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