Meet 'Diva' Danielle White

 

My name is Danielle but from the time I was 18, everyone has called me Diva (“a female goddess” in Italian, “a powerful female” in Hindi) due to the fact I dressed pretty dramatically even in the cold weather of Boston where I spent my college years. In 1999, I went to my first yoga class. It was those initial yoga practices that slowly transformed the way I viewed myself and the world in which I lived. With my weight drastically fluctuating since childhood, I was not used to a worldview that promoted self acceptance and the acceptance of what is. In 2006, I sat in my first Vipassana meditation. As with life, things come and go (impermanence right?) and in 2016, I found myself facing the death of a very close friends and feeling very lost. In my darkest moments, a repeated message started coming to me - start running and get back on the cushion! Nothing like death to remind you to live!

Very fortuitously, I ran into Connie Clotworthy and she brought me to a Monday night meditation and dharma talk. I am so grateful for that moment because so much good has come to me ever since. Insight/Mindfulness meditation became my anchor in those darker moments and allowed me to grieve as well as develop a truly intimate relationship with myself that I thought was lost.

A recent teacher of mine said to me, “In the West, so many of us want it to be Spring and Summer all the time. We are afraid of Fall and Winter.” Of all the lessons I have learned, this has really stuck with me. The beauty of cycles and of pain as part of those cycles. Mindfulness allows me to make friends with everything, the good and the bad, the dark and the light. I have said to myself many times on this journey, “If only I knew now what I knew then!”

On that note, I feel so blessed and honored to be a part of Worthy Beyond Purpose. I have been volunteering with Jasmine Carey teaching breathwork, yoga and meditation to the young folks at the Santa Monica YMCA. Currently, I am getting Certification in Mindfulness from LA City College. I hope to give young people the skills to shine from the inside out and respond to our world with compassion, equanimity and wisdom.