Mid-Week Live Coaching: Danielle
Many of us are stuck from pursuing what our hearts desire because we fear what it will have us let go of. In this episode, Adam Quiney coaches someone who is all too familiar with this story. He sits down with Danielle Rondeau, a lawyer who has been working in her own life on the notion of hearing the call of her soul. They discuss how to continue to take the next step without knowing how it will go, create a practice of listening within and take action, and embody this way sustainably. Oftentimes, what keeps us from hearing the call within and pursuing it are the fears we are trying to manage. Break out of them and take that leap as Adam guides Danielle in this transformative coaching session.
Listen to the Episode Here:
Mid-Week Live Coaching: Danielle
In this episode, we’re working with a woman named Danielle Rondeau. Danielle and I initially met because a former client of mine who is a lawyer put me in touch with her. Danielle is also a former lawyer like myself and has gone through some rigorous coach training, which I lead. We’ve been good friends and kept in touch ever since. One of the things that Danielle has been working on in her own life is this notion of being called into it. It’s listening to that which calls us forward, hearing the call of the soul, self, spirit, universe or whatever you want to call it, and not only hearing it but heeding it. It is a great distinction to be in for yourself on its own because before we can heed the call, we must be willing to hear it.
Many of us are terrified to hear that call because we’re worried about what it will have us let go of. We’re worried about the fact that if we listen to what our heart craves, what that’s going to do is get us present to how we don’t have it, and that’s going to mean some heartbreak for us. That’s where many of us find ourselves. We’re not even able to hear it. We’ve learned to shut that down and focus on what needs to be done. Nevermind what you want.
Danielle has gone a little bit further. She’s done a bunch of work so she’s hearing this and she’s taking steps towards it, but it’s pretty clunky and not going the way that she wants. She’s looking at, “How do I keep heeding this call? How do I keep being called forward into what I’m truly here to do?” This is a great conversation, specifically because partway through, and see if you can feel when this happens. It’s before the obvious place.
Partway through, I got clear, “We can keep talking about this forever and nothing’s going to change.” This is a conversation about Danielle needing to take some action in her life. She needs to act in front of this rather than trying to manage her fears before she’s willing to jump off the diving board. That’s where we ended up going in this conversation. It’s having her take the steps that would have to be a leap right now. We’ve had some conversations like this before and it’s a beautiful reminder that potent transformative coaching is equal parts ontological and facilitative.
Meaning it’s not just looking at our relationship to something and creating insight and awareness, we also have to go and do stuff. If we sit in a cave and create brilliant, beautiful insights and never go and act any differently, you can do this many ways. You can do this by meditating by yourself, eating magic mushrooms, taking psychedelics of other sorts or reading books. If all that happens is some internal change, and you don’t do anything different, and you don’t shift the way you’re showing up in the world, then who cares. It simply does not make a difference or an impact in the world.
I hope you enjoyed this conversation. As always, if you would like to be one of our guests, if you think that you’re up and you feel the call to come on and to boldly be coached, and to let people see you in this way and to model leadership. That’s what Danielle and all of these people are doing. If you feel called into that, you can send an email to PR@AdamQuiney.com. We would love to hear from you. I would love to have you on. I hope you enjoy it.
Adam, that was great.
Here’s how I know you and you may want to share some of your own journeys with me or whatever as we go forward. My memory is I initially met you through our mutual friend Sarah. You and I were both lawyers. Maybe I’d moved on from that and you were running wellbeing groups for lawyers. From there, you eventually came and took the coach training that you, Sarah, and I have all been graduates from and led in varying capacities.
That sounds right. It was 2013.
It’s hard to believe. It’s hard for me even now looking back. That was five years after everything collapsed. That even feels hard for me to get my head around that a lot of life has happened even in that. Is there anything you want to share about your journey that led you here through that, what was that like or anything that feels there to share?
There are lots but nothing that’s burning at the moment.
Let’s dive in. Let’s jump in and see where we go. What are we going to work on?
I love the intro because what I’m struggling with now is not the same content but the same struggle. I want to be helping people in this time to make decisions from a different place and live their life from a different place, which is self-guided or soul guided, and guided by their deep inner truth or however they call that for themselves. Rather than looking outward for messages or for guidance, or this is how you should do it, or what you’re supposed to do, or this is the path to success.
The piece that ties into what you were talking about is I do this sometimes, but I don’t do it all the time for myself. I end up feeling a hypocrite like, “I can’t be offering this. I’m not ready yet.” It’s because I’m struggling to stand in that place myself a lot of the time at least fully and consistently. I know the benefits so I can speak to the benefits because I have experienced them. I also intellectualize them and know them philosophically well. I often don’t feel the integrity of being that person who is living from that place all the time so that I can speak from that place when I share what I do with others.
You’re not doing it perfectly.
I’m not doing it perfectly. In my own mind, I’m not doing it good enough, I’m not ready, or something of that flavor. That’s a belief. It’s not necessarily true, but there is some truth in that. I’m still in the fear of embracing what I believe fully.
I can totally relate to that. I get that. What would you want to leave with?
I’d like to do it perfectly, Adam.
I have a twelve-part strategy.
I would like more faith and trust in where I’m at, and in that way of being that I would like to embody and share with others.
More faith and more trust in where you’re at.
In the way of being or the philosophy of what I want to share with others. More faith in what I believe and that would look like me acting in alignment with that more consistently, and sharing about it more consistently. It’s trusting where I’m at, so I can share from where I’m at without having it perfect. Also, trusting in the philosophy or the belief that I want to bring into the world so I’m living it more myself.
I’ve got it. What do you have now instead of trust?
I have trust sometimes. Sometimes it looks more like, “I should be doing this because I say I believe it.” I get to the point where I get sick of myself not living that way that I take a few actions that are supportive of me connecting with my deeper truth and living from that place. It’s from a shoulder of shaming myself or beating myself into doing the new thing because I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I can feel the consequences of me not doing it.
Let me see if I’m hearing this right. It sounds like you’re present to the voice of the self or the soul, or whatever we described. You can hear its guidance to some extent, but you are scared or have some quality of your humanity show up, where you feel a little stuck. You hold off, which creates an increasing experience of self-loathing. We could even call it existential pain or whatever until you get to the point where like, “I can’t keep doing this,” and then you take that step. Is that how it goes?
Yes and that repeats itself.
You‘re living the way that you’re wanting to support others to live. It’s just there’s part of this cycle that doesn’t feel good or that you want to be different or something along those lines.
I would like the gap where I suffer and resist to be shorter.
Is the idea like if you had trust and faith, it’s always as soon as you heard the voice, you’d be like, “Let’s do it. Off we go?”
Ideally, yes and most of the time that question makes me feel like a choice between soul and humanity. My humanity is my survival mechanism and ego. It’s the thing I put on top of that, the making it wrong and the resistance. I don’t think that living in alignment with my deeper truth and my soul would look like me floating and sharing the beauty and brilliant things with the world 100% of the time and being loved. It would be messy and have lots of different ranges of experiences and emotions. That would be part of it. I would listen or allow that experience rather than pushing it and holding it off, and waiting until it builds up to this boiling point before I would even let myself feel the negative feeling, for example, or let myself take the next step that would have me be seen in the world. I’m not sure if I’m getting it across.
Over here it feels clear. What I’m hearing you say is it sounds like there’s a process for you as you walk the path of soul or self or whatever. The way that process looks is that you hear something, and then you have resistance to it. For whatever the reason happens to be. Do I have that part right?
Yeah, or I don’t let myself hear it consciously. I create the circumstances where I block out my deeper truth. I make myself busy or whatever.
We could call it resistance for the sake of keeping it super simple. Resistance has many forms. It might not even be a conscious resistance but that’s there. There are two lines of thought that show up for me. The first one is I wonder how Danielle relates to her resistance? It sounds like that’s not part of a soul led life to some extent, or the amount of it is not part of it, as opposed to it all being part of what it is to live a life that is led. There’s that path. The other path that presents itself to me is, where is this currently happening? We could make this real and look in your life, where you’re experiencing this resistance and look through that lens. The cool thing about my job is I don’t have to choose. Which do you feel led to at this moment?
There’s another piece that I want to share. Part of this shift that I see is the way that I would like to be living more often is not to be in control. It requires me not knowing exactly how it’s going to go. I’m good at making a plan, a vision, and all the things to get from A to B, and making it beautiful and trying to get the fastest way to get there that’s linear and clean. That’s not necessarily how it looks when I’m listening. Maybe this is how the resistance shows up. Maybe that’s along the lines of where this is going. It’s me not allowing it to be okay to not know or not know what the outcome of me taking a certain step, or allowing that deeper truth to manifest in my life. What is the outcome of that? I don’t know. I don’t necessarily know how it’s going to play out, whether it’s going to be successful or I’m going to look like a fool. That’s in the background of what often has me to retreat.
It sounds like you might hear this but I can’t see that fifteen different lights. I need to see the path to where it leads so I know that there is some way that this will work out. Is that about right?
Yeah. If I don’t know, I either fill in the things I don’t know with whatever I can come up with that makes sense, and then try to make that happen or I don’t listen. I’ll shut it down and do what I know.
That makes total sense. Let’s see if we’ve got this all on the table. One, you’re doing whatever you’re doing, and then your life, your soul or your self is like, “I’ve got something for you.” It sounds fairly reliable that you can hear that, then where you go to is, “Show me the schematic so I know where this is going to end up.” From not seeing that, you get into this a little bit of how the cycle goes. You get busy, double down on what you’re already doing, or whatever there is. You feel it more and more building up, then eventually, “I have to do it.” You take that step, do life, and then repeat. Is that about it?
That sounds familiar.
Anything else in this cycle that we’re missing, that should be in there, that we should distinguish?
I don’t think so.
How would you like this to go?
I would like to be better at not knowing or be more okay with not knowing.
That’s adorable. I love it.
I would like to know that it’s going to be okay. I want to know how it’s going to go, or at least know that I’m not going to create something terrible. At least I know that it’s not going to go all the way to the dark. Sure, there’s a little bit of rejection or a little bit of challenge, struggle or things that are along any path. I don’t want to take a path that’s going to crush me emotionally, or have me want to give up completely.
The fear is that you listen to this voice and it leads you to ruin whatever ruin looks like, financial ruin, emotional ruin, spiritual ruin, or whatever it is. You’re like, “I listened, I’m here and now, I cannot recover.” Is that the flavor of it?
Yeah. I don’t know if my humanity can handle the challenges that will be on this path. It’s mostly emotional. Can I emotionally handle the amount of rejection, the amount of failure, or the amount of it not going okay? Can my ego handle that? Can my more human side of me handle that, and process that in a healthy way? That’s where I don’t fully. I trust to a certain extent that my soul, my deeper truth, or that part of me that is divinely connected and led is not out to hurt me. I don’t feel that it’s malicious. It’s in service of life, which includes my life and life in general on this planet. I trust that, but I don’t trust that I’m strong enough to handle the challenges that might come along the way. I might decide to quit, collapse, and not be able to handle the level of heartbreak that comes with that.
I am going to speak to everyone else for a moment. Check in with yourself and see if you can find this vulnerable, beautiful truth that Danielle is sharing with us. We all feel called into something in our lives, and then there’s this fear of, “Yeah, but what if? Can we trust whatever it is?” Danielle, I get that. I can relate to that in a lot of ways. It’s like, “I’ve been called to this, but what if? Can I say yes to that? What will happen?” I get that. The fear is not malicious and yet, am I strong enough to walk through that fire? Is that the idea?
On the one hand, it sounds like it’s not trusting yourself to go through this. On the other hand, maybe there’s a relationship to the spirit that maybe, “Can I trust it?” It sounds like you’re pretty strong there. You’re like, “I trust the path laid out in front of me. It’s more me that I don’t totally trust.” Is that how it recurs for you?
Yeah, and because of that, I beat myself up for not following this path which I know is in service of me and the world, in general. It’s me making the contribution I came here to make. It’s a belief that I can’t hack it. I’m not strong enough. I’m not emotionally strong enough to handle being a leader in that way, standing in who and what I believe, and everything that comes with that.
It’s always resisting and eventually, there’s a pain to resisting this. It eventually becomes too much and you take that step. If we got you better at being more okay with all of this, and I don’t know how we would do that, but let’s entertain it, what would we notice in that situation? How would things be different?
I would trust that I would be okay, and the cost of me consistently taking action is not so high that I can do it sustainably. I would be taking steps every day instead of once every week or two to share who I am and what I believe. Also, to be seen and to be a leader for what I believe. I would consistently be that in the world in a more visible bigger way. Paired with that on the other side would be the level of self-care that would be required for that to be in place. Whatever it would take for me to be okay with whatever was coming back, the criticism, the rejection, even the acceptance of the growth of both sides of it, the positive and the negative. I would have in place those practices to keep my ego in check from letting it get inflated and to being the top dog, bottom dog. Also, to not let it take me out completely and get depressed about being rejected or whatever happens.
Do you have something that we can look at to make this real?
I’m not sure what you mean by that.
Right now, it’s pretty conceptual. Generally speaking, this idea is a feeling you have in your life where you feel called towards something, have resistance, and have fear about it. You wish you could not have that, but can’t. You get busy and try to ignore it. The voice becomes louder and louder, and eventually, you have to take that step, which is so understandable. You could almost argue that this is what every human being is up against. This is the human condition where we feel called to something and we try our best to not hear it. You and I come from a legal background where those of us drawn in that direction are better than most of the world at not listening to that inner voice. It allows you to do your job in some ways, but it’s also cancerous. It’s the weight of you inside. It’s ulcerous or cancerous. I get how this all plays out at a conceptual level. I’m wondering if you have a place in your life for us to look where it’s like, “Here’s a place where I feel called towards something and I’m up against this.”
The place that’s most present for me now is in sharing this philosophy or this knowing that I have, that if we were to embrace living from this way, we would create a totally different world if we could learn to cultivate the trust to be self-directed from this deeper truth, if each of us could cultivate this practice. We’ll be living in integrity with ourselves. By extrapolating, we would be in integrity with life. The things we are called to would be in service of life. It would be supportive of the world living in harmony, being more beautiful, restored and healthy in ways that it is not now. It’s sharing this. The thing that I’m struggling with is the thing that I know that I’m here to bring to the world.
What I heard you say is, “If I was better at knowing, it’ll be okay.” One way or the other, you’d be taking more steps on a regular basis. What are the steps you’re currently resisting?
Talking about it, sharing, writing, sharing videos, finishing the book that I’m writing, supporting people to learn how to reconnect with this part of themselves, and to begin to trust it. It’s supporting people to get out of the business and numbing out whether it’s lawyers or others. It’s creating things in alignment with this. I don’t have any specific little thing but generally, creating things in that realm.
How are you resisting this? What does your resistance look like?
Confusion. I don’t know what the next step is, what to create, what feels the most true, what to create next, where do I spend life, and not letting myself choose.
What do you focus on? Once you’re confused, where does your attention go?
Two things that I know that I can do that feel safe or supportive in some way. I’ll go and have a productive day doing some legal work and be like, “At least I’m saving some money and I did something that feels good.”
You do the stuff you can do, but it’s not the fullest expression of what you’re called towards.
About Danielle Rondeau
Lawyer at Killam Cordell