Inspirational author Danielle LaPorte has helped women find and ignite their passions via her bestselling books “The Desire Map” and “The Firestarter Sessions” and “White Hot Truth.” She’s all about spreading the good word that women everywhere should start trusting their instincts and owning their unique beauty and bad-assery exactly as they are.
We got the chance to speak with the gorgeous and fierce mama exclusively. Here’s what she had to say!
How did you learn how to trust yourself?
It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of years, a lot of workshops, a lot of betrayals, a lot of healing, a lot of amazing experiences, a lot of love and a lot of exhaustion for me to wake up to that fact. I heard what everybody had heard and read what everyone had read: that the answers are within. Turn to yourself. You need to be your own God, and your own Guru. I finally started to get that on a heart level and a cellular level and began to get more discerning about who I was turning to and asking for answers. And that foggy and frantic feeling that I’ve been feeling for a long time started to go away. And the opposite of foggy and frantic is clear and calm.
How can someone start being their own guru?
A good place to start to is going on what I call “an input retreat,” which means when I am stuck on an issue or a problem, instead of running to a friend or a coach or a psychic, I try to answer the question or solve the problem myself, with my knowledge and intuition.
Isn’t it hard to not get outside advice or opinions, especially when you’re working on a book or project?
No, not at all. When I want to create something or express myself, I don’t seek others’ opinions. I don’t look for what’s out in the market. I show what I need to express. I try to keep it pure, and often what I need, I find others need, too. What I’m feeling, others are feeling. I start from the inside out, not the outside in.
Wow, I love that. That’s especially important for Latinas and WOC who oftentimes get our messages on what’s beautiful from the “outside” or mainstream media.
I think now more than ever, proud Latinas, and all women, should look to their own wisdom and define for themselves what beauty and power and spirituality means. Also, it’s really important for women to find and use their voice, and speak up when something is working and when something is not.
When you need to get your spiritual battery charged, where or what do you turn to?
Solitude, lots of music, hot tubs, oils and meditation. I meditate every morning.
It feels like everyone wants to be a guru these days, even young folks without a lot of expertise or experience. You’ve been working your craft for a long time. Any thoughts on this?
I agree. Everyone wants to be a life coach. Everyone wants to be a motivational speaker basically, and I have two opinions: one is negative, and one is positive. The dark side: I think there’s a lot of faking it. I think there’s a lot of immaturity. I think there’s a lot of greed. I think there’s a lot of hunger. I think there’s a lot of opportunism. The social media culture that we live in is feeding us this complex that we have to be admired, we have to be the hero, to be the salvation. And I think a lot of people believe that monetizing their “quote/unquote” inspirations is such an easy way to make money. “It’s so easy!” It’s not so easy. So there’s that.
And the upside of that is that you know this is challenging us and calling all of us to wake up, to become discerning, to use all of our senses and listen with our hearts and our intellect to what someone is saying and what they’re selling. Now the lighter side of this is it’s all apart of growing up. This is messiness and the deception and the experimentation, on the one hand, it’s really great. We’re going to get clearer. I think a lot of people who are in an experience and they’re trying to sell “quote/unquote” wisdom, in some ways, it’s wonderful. Some of those people are individuals with the best of intentions, and they are pure hearted. And they’re making the most of the culture that they’re living in. I think some of it is gorgeous.
What would you say then to a young girl who wants to be like you? Someone who has been through maybe hard times or has an experience they think might be valuable to share with their peers?
Someone said to me the other day they wanted to be a motivational speaker, and I said: “You know.. live, have experiences, go deeper, be of service and then you’ll have something to talk about.”
That’s like saying I want to be famous, so I think I’m going to act. You need to be called to the art, and you need to hone your craft. And you need to fail a little bit and succeed. So yeah, I’d say all those things that I never wanted to hear when I was 20. Which is sort of like hone your craft and make a few mistakes. But along with that, I think everyone has something to teach exactly where they are in their journey. And there’s so much power and so much service in being honest about where you’re at. It’s great that you want to serve, but be frank that you don’t have all the answers.
Who are some people that you admire in the self-help space that you feel are are serving from the heart?
I have profound respect for Marianne Williamson. She has a compelling voice on what she has to say about politics. I have great reverence for Eve Ensler, whose Vagina Monologues inspired to end violence against women. Amanda De Cadanet is doing some great stuff with girls and her GirlGaze Project. Terri Cole, this is someone who is the real deal. She’s a qualified psychologist talking about how love works. I bow to Guru Singh; he’s a guy who is bright as a diamond, and his wisdom is on point. These people inspire me to walk my talk.