Danielle Durbin

Before Pathways I lived in self-condemnation, constant fear, monotony and exhaustion. I had no faith in anything. I tried to control everything. Constantly believing I was never good enough always made me strive to prove that I was. This particularly showed up in my vocational life, and my career consumed me. My identity was predicated on the basis of what I had accomplished professionally. I set and reset a perpetually unattainable bar of perfection, in all aspects of my life. Constantly grasping for something that did not exist only further amplified my negative beliefs and toxic thoughts about myself. I also sought validation through acceptance by others. What someone thought of me became the yardstick by which I chose to measure my self-worth. I literally did not know myself. I had no idea what I wanted or what my heart’s true desires were. My life epitomized “going through the motions.” I lived on autopilot without a compass, white knuckling even the smoothest parts of my life. I was lost, stuck and held hostage by fear.

After Pathways my arms and heart are wide open and fully embracing life! There is a radiating light in my heart that was not there before. I feel so much love and acceptance for myself, happiness, peace, faith and child-like joy! I literally feel a ray of light shining from within! It is full and I know that I am enough and that imperfection is not only okay, it is actually fun! There is also a tenderness and love for people that I have now, which exists in a way that allows me to see someone’s heart for who they are. I am able to love people and meet them where they’re at, extend grace, compassion and unconditional love.

I take ownership of my life by surrendering! I know that being and living in control means giving up the need to control the uncontrollable. I embrace surrender and life just moves more effortlessly. I choose to go forward with courage. I stand convicted in my decisions and choices and I trust the process. I believe in learning from less favorable outcomes but do not judge them as being a mistake. I am able and willing to step into hard. Some days I sprint and some days I crawl, but no matter the speed I commit to press on. I own what I can control – my thoughts, my actions, my choices.

Pathways also unearthed a passion that was buried underneath the “should do’s” and “supposed to do’s” of life. With this training I have been able to live in a place of self-love, trust and free-fall, and that has made all the difference. Now that I love myself unconditionally and now that I am truly convicted of my truth — that I am enough, I am worthy, I am strong and loving and I can surrender — I boldly pursue anything that continues to feed the flame of purpose in my heart. I fully embrace my calling and can now say, “I am complete.”

What I would tell someone on how to elevate their life is: Be silly! Have fun! Laugh! Love yourself! Engage in mental fitness! Challenge your limitations, mindset and perspective constantly to enhance and expand perception. Having a broader lens and filter gives you a more robust vantage point. It creates objectivity, creativity, possibilities and freedom. Embrace messy and make peace with your past! Choose to let go and let grace, and then focus your mind, eyes and willpower forward! NOW is all there ever is! So run full speed ahead and go after whatever you truly want. Live with arms wide open! Surrender, soar and enjoy the ride! Be YOU. Be love. Be light!