Hello! I'm Danielle Benvenuto.

Thanks for visiting! Here you'll find a collection of my recent publications, reflections, and images inspired by my work, life, and travels. It is your life is an ongoing, ever-evolving dialogue about life and connection. It's an invitation to move more fully into your life--to take that risk, to open your heart, to listen and pursue whatever it is that's calling inside of you.  

It is your life.  

This is How a Dream Comes True

This is How a Dream Comes True

This blog comes at a time of major transition. My time in New York City is coming to an end after having lived here for over 15 years and I am heading east: to live, to experiment, to create, and to simply be. The transition is this: I am moving from my current life--not that traditional but also not that revolutionary either; a life equipped with deep friendships, a big family, a lot of travel, a couple of businesses, financial success, fun, love-to a life I have dreamed about but couldn't always articulate in words until….the dream began to articulate itself to me more clearly.

Dreams are like that. We create a dream or a vision for our life, a picture which in part is detailed, full of color and shape we know to be a true expression of our heart's desire; and in part abstract, a hazy landscape of unformulated feeling and imagery waiting to take form so that when we actually start reaching our "dream", the picture that eventually manifests ends up being somewhat different but supremely better than we could have ever imagined.  

The unfolding of my dream-the nuts and bolts, the fine print came to me over the years sometimes in pieces and sometimes as lightening bolt revelations. But, it came mostly slowly. Sometimes excruciatingly slowly. And then boom! With a final impact that has been massive. Like an elephant.  Someone once told me I am like an elephant. She said to me, "Don't worry, girl, even though you move very slowly, you are actually very powerful…like an elephant." This comment stuck with me because for most of my 30's I wondered if things were moving for me at all. Was I getting anywhere? Despite evidence to the contrary which indeed showed some movement, something I could "see", it was still so hard to feel because I often felt stuck and not always fulfilled.

Dreams are also like this. They are something we actually have to work for and take time with. Like raising a newborn baby, we have to nurture them and be patient during times when we feel completely lost and extremely exhausted. We have to get to know ourselves and work on the relationships we value. Connection is crucial. We have to listen to and translate the callings of our hearts. We have to do scary shit and feel vulnerable and awkward and afraid. We have to never give up. If we truly want to be free, we have to fight for our freedom especially when we feel stuck. 

In case you want to know, here is my dream. Just the beginning of my dream, I should say, because I am realizing with a startling, lightening bolt type of awareness that what I thought was my destination is actually only the entrance into another type of dream. I am entering a new reality, a state of existence, I now know I can take in any direction I choose. Like a lucid dream. Anything is possible. This power to do and create anything I want in my life is both exhilirating and terrifying.  

I am moving to Berlin, an international, experimental, inexpensive, and chilled out city. Berlin is not "the dream" but an important detail. Last year as I was meditating on where to move temporarily for some work trainings that spanned all over the European continent, she (Germany) whispered her name to me. Here's how it went down. While looking at my map, focusing on five countries that were prime candidates, I asked (myself and the universe): "Where should I go?" My very loud intellectual reply: "Not Germany." Yet, the next morning as I went through my day I heard a whisper so soft but so powerful that it caught me off guard. An intuitive whisper that ran through my head for a couple of days having me wonder if I was starting to hear voices. It was the strangest form of intuition I have ever experienced but it was so powerful that I took it seriously. The whispery voice whispered, "Germany". I reluctantly began to tell friends about this strange voice and what it said and through these conversations I was led to Berlin. Of course I consulted Google too and as I learned more about the details of this city, I found myself sobbing-a sob that went to a place deep inside of me. The words that lept out at me from my computer screen which I simultaneously digested transmitted an energy that spoke directly to my heart clearing a dam to my desire I hadn't even known existed.

So last year on a whisper and without knowing a single soul there, I decided to move to Berlin for 3 months. Now, here's why you should listen to strange whispers. Two months before I moved to Berlin, I received a message from an Italian friend who I hadn't spoken to in ages. In this random Facebook message, she tells me she is about to move to Berlin. A month later, an Icelandic friend of mine decides to move to Berlin. Three people in three different countries unknowingly move to the same country at the same time. I came back to NY three months later inspired by the unexpected and deep connections I developed there with these two friends plus some new ones that gave me more than any training offered me during my time there. I was moved but since I am an elephant I took my time until finally many, many months later I realized I needed to move there for real.  I am about to live in Europe indefinitely on my own dime and this has been a dream of mine.

What else? I am no longer identifying as a therapist or a healer, two roles I have been identifying with for over 13 years nor will I be working as a therapist or a healer. When I initially knew I needed to move to Berlin, I thought I would set up a practice there but then it hit me (another lightning bolt revelation moment) that it was time to take a break from this type of work and that more importantly, I was allowed to do this. Once this epiphany hit, a whole new space opened up inside of me. I thought leaving NY for a life in Europe was exciting and monumental but giving myself permission to take a break from the work I felt at some point so passionately called to do was like discovering the cure for cancer.  If you are wondering what I am going to be doing in Berlin, I am simply creating space to see what emerges from releasing the need to define myself as anything. I am identifying as a human with the potential to create and be anything she chooses. 

I didn't know this was my dream-to identify as a human (sounds weird) with the potential to create anything she chooses (sounds amazing) because I have been quite successful in my field but now I realize that the freedom I was longing for my whole life was about living a life without being pigeon holed into a certain role or a certain place and definitely not a certain office. This does not mean I will not have a focus or direction eventually. Quite the contrary, this space I am opening up is the actual birth canal for the next phase of my work to come through. It will involve movement and dance and art and self-expression in its most uninhibited and playful and honest form. How it will manifest, I have no clue. Not knowing and not defining myself as this thing or that, instead of feeling scary, is the most freeing thing I have ever experienced in my life thus far.

And so dreams are like this. Once we start living our dream, we realize all the belief systems and rules set in place in society are a bunch of B.S. That we don't need to be this thing or that or have this thing or that thing to be successful. That true success comes solely from being ourselves. Now, I have always known the narratives that govern society and the world at large are just that-a bunch of narratives. But, my life wasn't operating in such a way that I felt totally free of them. As I began to awaken to my dream, I began to realize how small this system really is and how powerful we truly are.

True power comes from following our hearts and expressing what is there in whichever form this self-expression wants to take-which can be anything from expressing our feelings to another person to unleashing our sexuality to engaging in a hobby to creating something artistic to radically changing a career path. The list goes on and on. This is empowerment. When we follow our heart, the money also starts flowing and appearing in the most unexpected ways. Empowerment does not come from following a system in which we work our way up for someone or something we are told exists for us to feel good or be good or do good. 

From Berlin, I can go wherever I want and where I want to go first is the Far East to also live, experiment, create, and simply be. I have been studying Eastern healing methods and philosophy for some time now and at some point in the near future I will get to live them, to learn by the experience and not by the book. One of my dreams has been to see the whole world and to go wherever, whenever I choose. 

I will dive deeper into the sensory world of food, dance, my body, and the small things like feeling the petals of a rose and smelling the blades of the grass because my dream I found out over the past year is to experience myself and the world through my five senses as deeply as I can. I find it interesting I am saying this because for so long I wanted the paranormal experiences and enjoyed being in those worlds and other dimensions. I still do. But for now I mostly want to be just here. 

Being here-present-is the route to going anywhere.  

I am finding myself finally here. Truly here. Alive and awake and present. Not in the past, not in the future. 

But here. I never knew that my true dream was a longing for complete presence.

I moved to New York when I was 22 years old and I started my first business-a psychotherapy practice-when I was 25. When I was 33 I opened my second business-a landlord of a professional therapy suite that I designed with a friend and colleague. From 22 onwards I have been succeeding in all that I have attempted to do but it wasn't until two years ago that this success meant anything to me because for most of that time I was "succeeding" I felt somewhat imprisoned.

But here's the thing. We can feel imprisoned and stuck but still be moving. And this is how dreams come true. We have to know the prison we are in first. It may take a long time to know the ins and outs of this place but as long as we are curious and trying to be present for whatever is showing up in our lives we eventually find ourselves on the other side. 

On the other side of your prison, is your dream.  

Full Moon In Full Effect: Lunar Eclipse Feb 2017

Full Moon In Full Effect: Lunar Eclipse Feb 2017