NEW! I recorded this entire post for you!
Feel free to listen by clicking HERE. (If you ignore mistakes and audio quality in some spots, I think it will do!)
This is an EPIC post friends.
The original plan included less words, more posts.
I chose the road less traveled in blog land, where 400-500 word limits guide the way. Well… not this time.
If you’re new, several months ago I shared of a significant shift in my writing and offered why. The change includes a new platform.
Before the transition from here to there, I want to re-introduce myself. Actually, more openly introduce myself for the first time.
Just parts of life I hope to carry into future work and writing.
Grab some tea?
I’m Daniele. And in no specific order — this is me.
I am unapologetically Christian.
I land in the Protestant camp.
My life experiences range from charismatic holy roller to contemplative Christianity, with sprinkles of other perspectives in between. To stir the pot, I attended two high school years in a Catholic environment and loved so many things about it!
I am deeply committed to following Jesus.
At times, life led me to question beliefs. But, I cannot remember questioning loving him. This truth remains core to who I am. It influences everything I do.
I believe life with Christ offers us all something good.
My future website and writing focuses on the soul care of women in any life season, with special space for those overcoming struggles. Helping women care for their spiritual lives and unique personalities is my heartbeat.
My approach reflects my faith though I avoid offering pat answers. I work to stay away from Christianese language and references.
The sincere desire is women of various faith backgrounds find hope and healing.
I won’t seek to make everyone happy (impossible) or water down a message.
In short, naming I am unapologetically Christian means I am unapologetically open to all God’s people — whether we hold similar perspectives or not.
I am a voice and advocate.
Alongside my commitment to Christ, I feel grieved for my faith community.
I speak of larger Church vs local.
I wrestle with perspectives towards women, struggle with what feels like rampant disregard of their voices.
My grief relates to practices of belittling, denying or ignoring abuse and acts of violence women face in their lives and within church.
It’s an ugly, tender topic. But it is reality.
I was just exiting church leadership as the #metoo and #churchtoo movement erupted. As I watched, I wondered how church communities planned to respond. How I would respond.
Even now I sit with more questions, less answers.
But I am moved to give voice and help others do the same.
A path forward cannot include bashing men or spewing rants at spiritual leaders. Yet I cannot support silence. A touch of my future writing opens the door for these conversations.
My faith calls me to love mercy, to walk humbly, to act justly.
I once heard a sermon demonstrating dependence of each part upon the other. It’s lopsided Christianity without all three.
All three I embrace moving forward.
I am Haitian.
At first I felt odd including this description in my lineup.
But being Haitian is one aspect I’ve not shared much online or in every day life. Quite honestly, up until recently this heritage identity fell into the background of my life. I want to change this.
I am first-generation American.
Like many of my cousins, our parents immigrated from Haiti and set out creating new opportunities for themselves and their children.
Reconnecting to this part of me includes dusting off Haitian Creole and more involvement in the culture. Creole is a language I understand yet rarely speak.
Haitian people are some of the most resilient I have met. This resiliency connects deeply with the soul care services and writing I plan to offer.
You will see this people group highlighted in my work — another way of me keeping connected.
I hope to share stories of Haitian women who have triumphed over tragedy, and of organizations and communities supporting their journeys.
This vision is developing slowly. I am excited about connections made already!
I am a survivor.
Talk about ugly, tender topics. Sigh.
I shared with you recently of making phone calls, sitting with other women and doing the hard work of sharing my story.
It’s a story I kept silent for multiple reasons.
The stigma, the accompanying shame, and fear of others interpreting my life only through this event. More importantly, gentle care for the one person I felt it impacted the most: my daughter.
But I learned through a devastating experience last year the cost of that silence, of not owning my story more publicly and assuming protection from other places.
As I sat in court that day, a voice inside me awoke.
I will own my story — all of it, every part. It is mine to share.
This vow cascaded into me getting support for just how to own, how to share with others.
Then I did.
My survivor story
At the close of my childhood, I was sexually assaulted and became pregnant.
It was the most traumatic event of my first decades of life.
I lost my innocence, my sense of safety.
My identity shattered into all kinds of pieces no longer representing the true me at all. This contributed to a mindset of accepting other violations to my body, mind and soul.
For a long time I wanted to erase that terrible day.
To believe faith in God enough to cover up the loss, the memories, the after effects. God carried me through no doubt…and I have done the hard work of healing over the years.
I accept complete healing from trauma probably comes in our eternal state.
However, I believe it possible to thrive now, to recover from living the terrible again and again.
From a more settled and healed place, I will passionately support women by offering trauma-sensitive soul care, whatever their pain.
[Note: in America right now, we’re experiencing a hotbed of debate around women’s rights, abortion, the sanctity of life. Keep in mind I share today a personal story, NOT a political stand (I do hold one). If possible, please avoid interpreting my story this way.]
I am an entrepreneur.
I always seem to have a business idea in my head! Seriously.
My family background includes many who busted traditional models to create avenues for supporting their families.
I’m kinda in that lot.
In the next phase I will offer multiple services and resources at no cost to anyone. Freely I have received from others, freely I desire to give.
I also plan to offer services and resources with a price tag attached.
You may wonder what’s the big deal. I agree.
Yet online I’ve seen this move viciously attacked.
Bloggers and website owners criticized for benefitting financially from their life story whether it’s losing weight, surviving cancer, overcoming a struggle, handling their money well or being an organized Mom!
It’s craziness in my opinion.
I have no plans to pull anyone’s heart strings to get to their purse strings.
I’m just a Mom who has been out of the traditional work force for nearly 20 years. I prayed for an idea to do something I truly enjoy which supports availability to my kids.
And God birthed one.
Fear creeps into my thoughts of course. What if this all fails?
Then I think — but what if it doesn’t?
I am a sensitive-souled carrier of LIGHT.
Accepting my personality type with all its beautiful strengths and touchy blind spots came slowly.
I better understand my sensitive and highly intuitive nature, and desire to offer it as a gift to others.
For personality nerds like myself — I’m an INFJ, Enneagram Type 5.
- I experience emotions deeply, my own and others’ (sometimes even before they share them) — or completely the opposite! I can forget my emotional side, staying way too much in my head
- my type avoids engaging the news, certain movies or books – most stories overwhelm
- all my senses are heightened! Different sounds & lighting in particular cause me sensory stress
- staying connected to my body and physical needs is WORK for me. If engaged in a project of my passion (*cough* like creating a website *cough*), I can easily forget to sleep, eat, and other basics!
- I need significant time alone in order to show up fully in my relationships
Can my personality type really sit with other women, maybe in their painful story, and be a friend on the journey?
YES. Yes I can.
It requires paying close attention to my own soul care and self-care needs. I also need community, support and accountability outside myself. My life reflects all these. Grateful.
But most importantly, I am a carrier of LIGHT.
This is what truly motivates me, moves me towards action.
On my own I could (and honestly would) retreat, especially after experiences of the last two years. But LIGHT does not hide, does not leave never to be seen again.
I am deeply convinced my right now includes this work:
to carry light into darkness
to remind others they too are light
This is me.
“And you, beloved, are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. Similarly it would be silly to light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl.
When someone lights a lamp, she puts it on a table or a desk or a chair, and the light illuminates the entire house.
You are like that illuminating light.
Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it.” ~ Matthew 5
And I welcome you to carry light with me!