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.  

A Letter From The Cosmos: What We Must Know About Living on Planet Earth.

A Letter From The Cosmos: What We Must Know About Living on Planet Earth.

Dear Fellow Humans,

I’ve had the privilege of living on planet Earth for quite some time now. The time I have spent here so far has been a real eye-opener for me. Through my experiences, many of which have been challenging, I have managed to figure out a few things about our humanity and how to live freely.  It is these lessons I would like to humbly share with you in this letter.

We are on this Earth, my friends, for one reason and one reason only and it is to have an open relationship with life. It is important to have as many experiences as possible while we are here because the experiences we have become our lives. 

Having made the journey, I now know that when we arrive on Earth we are shown a big lake, one that looks like a very pleasant place to swim. We are given a set of rules and ideas about how things work, who we should be, and how far out we should venture. Some of these ways are told to us directly and some we learn without being fully aware. We must continually remind ourselves, my friends, that there is a vast ocean available to us and that this lake is only one possibility among many springing forth from that big blue sea. We must venture out into the open waters and make our lives our own.

There are three main tasks life asks us to master and one thing we must absolutely know about ourselves as we navigate the path ahead. This is our ticket to freedom, so listen closely: 

What We Need to Know About Ourselves. Each of us is born with a heart that is both wild and compassionate. This wild side is ours to experience so unleash it! We must let our desire flow and dive head first into whatever moves us. Surrender with the same abandon when it is time to let go. Expressing ourselves spontaneously is important because this is our true nature. I have found this doesn’t sit well with the people swimming in the lake and that it sometimes feels weird and scary when you first start allowing yourself to be you. But, please, please, please keep being you! When we do our own thing, our bodies start responding in ways we could never imagine. Our energy frees up and our illnesses disappear.

We must strive to be compassionate, embodying love like a never-ending stream that runs through us nourishing every aspect of our being. It’s important to drink from this stream no matter what mistakes we make and no matter what life brings us. In turn, we must offer the same cup of compassion to all those we encounter. When we open our hearts, we open our lives to new possibilities. When we judge others, everyone stays small, including ourselves. Fellow humans, if someone is being abusive to us, opening our hearts means walking away. 

The Three Main Tasks Life Asks Us to Master.

Self-Connection. It’s important to spend time alone, my friends. Alone time doesn’t mean spending time doing bills or watching television for days on end. In the most ideal form, it means setting aside one day or a significant period of time a week where we turn off our phones and any distractions coming from our external environment. Self-connection means literally checking in and asking ourselves how we are feeling and based on the response meeting whatever need that is emerging. This may simply be to sit and do nothing. It may mean meditating, calling a friend for advice, taking a solo trip, or journaling. It may mean paying attention to our bodies and nourishing it with the exact type of exercise and food we need to reconnect. Connecting means doing things that feel like a natural expression of who we are and being present throughout the whole experience. You see it’s very intentional this time we spend with ourselves and our presence is the key to this connection. Staying with and going deeper into the experience is what links us to our life force.

Connecting With Others. It’s important to spend time with the people we love and when we are with them, to be truly with them. This means we focus on listening as if this is our first or last meeting with whomever we are with. We listen to the person who is speaking to us and we listen to what’s inside of our own being that needs to be spoken. When we feel it’s important to share something, we do. This is what it means to truly connect with others and why relationships are the most powerful tools of transformation. When two people are authentically connecting to both themselves and to each other, a new life gets born from this encounter. This new life is the possibility for us to know and experience ourselves in a new way. Sometimes we will be confronted with things we don’t want to see and sometimes we get introduced to things we never knew were there.

Giving Birth To Our Visions. Lastly, we must use our time on Earth to create. I am not using this term in the artistic sense exclusively. An accountant is just as much of a creator as a musician is. We are all filled with creative energies that need to continually be manifested into form for us to feel fulfilled and grounded. This energy is called passion. When a passion begins to take form, it becomes a vision. Our visions, if not channeled into a vehicle of our own choosing, will fester inside our bodies and lead to depression, anxiety, physical illness, you name it.

Now, what is a vision? A vision can range anywhere from being a sudden and burning desire to go visit a country or a inkling to take a class or an impulse to call a friend we haven’t spoken to in awhile to hobbies that help us creatively channel our energy to the idea we have for a start-up company or the inspiration we have to write a novel. Our visions are the life force within us waiting to be expressed. Small visions sometimes lead to larger visions. Our worth has nothing to do with how small or large our visions are. The worth we place on our life has everything to do with whether or not we execute that which begging to be expressed. Our visions are a direct line to the life force within us. If we cut the line, we suffer. If we open the line, we find love.

One last thing to note, dear human and this has to do with balance. We must balance all three of these tasks otherwise we will most surely become disconnected in some way. As you can see there are many people out there fully executing their visions but who are missing connection to themselves in profound ways. Many for example, who given birth to brilliant visions that have moved many people but who are addicted to drugs or can’t find their own personal happiness. A life line has most certainly been cut and so if we find ourselves on top of one game but feeling completely lost in another it, we must get curious about what it is that might be missing.

My dearest friends, when we swim out into the vast ocean of our lives and make them our own, we no longer need accolades or approval very much anymore. We discover our only desire is to live and experience all that this never-ending ocean of life has to offer us simply because that is where life is.

This article was originally published by Elephant Journal

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