There’s a fine line between self-help and self-criticism. No one knows this better than Danielle LaPorte. If you ask her, the best kind of self-help is self-compassion, and she’s on a mission to help women find their own “truths.” The hottest truth of all, says Danielle: You are your own guru.
If you’re not quite sure what that means or what to do with it, check out Danielle’s site, which is filled with inspirational #truthbombs to get you going. Next, check out her new book, “White Hot Truth,” which shares more on how to carve out your own path to happiness.
A sort of modern spiritual priestess and member of Oprah’s exclusive SuperSoul 100, Danielle is preaching a captivating blend of self-awareness, strength, humor, and hard-won wisdom. We sat down with her to find out more.
We’re so excited about your new book, “White Hot Truth.” Tell us about it.
The book is about the conflict that so many of us are feeling between genuine spiritual aspiration and the compulsion to improve. In other words, what we’re seeking for healthy reasons versus obsessively trying to be better or more “evolved.” I’m really asking people to question their quest. And I’m stepping up with a lot of my own stories of crazy self-help workshops that I would’ve been better off without, as well as some beautiful breakthroughs. In the end, the book gets back to being devoted to a higher purpose, but in a way that has nothing to do with proving your worth, and everything to do with deeper fulfillment.
Some heavy-hitters are dishing out big praise for you. Dr. Shefali Tsabary said, “Our souls are yearning for Danielle’s liberating message.” Why do you think your #truthbombs are resonating so strongly with women right now?
We’re hungry for realism and hope. There’s so much faking it to make it, photo editing and filtering, and deceptive branding happening in every sector of life, from politics to self-improvement. We’re aching for some relief from that noise. Some honesty and true connection.
Is there a single moment that turned your life around in terms of finding and facing the truth?
My big life lessons have never come in lightning bolts or angelic visitations, as much as I’ve wanted them to. Instead, it’s always a journey. Normal, steady, with some dramatic punctuations. But one night, I was crying in the tub over my divorce. I felt like I was failing because I was still working through the pain. I looked at myself in the mirror and asked myself if everything I was doing to try to feel well and liberated was actually helping me feel well and liberated. You know, all of the therapy, supplements, meditation, yoga, and striving … was it really helping?
That question put me on a new track. And it’s why I wrote “White Hot Truth.” The answer wasn’t simple. Some things were definitely nourishing me, very deeply. Others were actually major sucks of my energy and time, and they weren’t really aligned with my true nature. I let go of a lot. And I went deeper with the practices that felt, well, truly liberating. It was the real beginning of giving up spiritual striving, and instead committing to a spirituality that works for me.
Why do we get so far removed from our own selves and our own truths over time?
The answer’s really simple: We want to be loved. To be accepted. And in order to get that love and acceptance, we do things to get approval and to please others. We buy into the lie of inadequacy — that we’re born defective or flawed — and we spend too much of our life force trying to make that lie go away. Of course, that lie gets obliterated when we start making self-respecting choices, when we cure ourselves with self-compassion.
What are some of the issues you think women, in particular, deal with in terms of connecting with and creating their best selves?
Women who are on the personal development path are prone to boundary issues. It looks like this: An otherwise remarkably powerful, get-s***-done woman who can’t tell her adorable-but-freeloading brother that it’s time to move out of the guest room and get a job. Or the gorgeous and articulate woman who keeps quiet about the tantra teacher who crossed the line with her. Or the whip-smart entrepreneur who won’t put a stop payment on the check to the “socially responsible” consultant who gave her nearly fatal business advice. We’re all so accustomed to directing our compassion outward that turning the tide of protective Love toward ourselves can be discombobulating. We fight for causes, for relationships, for our children, for our co-workers — but it can be terrifying to fight for ourselves.
In my experience, you have to fight for your joy and really declare your worth. It’s part of an initiation into wholeness. I don’t think you have to be a warrior your whole life for it, but there’s a passage to self-love and agency that most women seem to have to go through. And it’s so worth it when you get to the other side.
What’s the easiest way for people to get back in touch with their own #truthbombs?
There’s no “easy” way. We need to stop looking for three steps and overnight change. Truth and integrity just don’t happen like that. What we need is a desire for freedom — to feel free to speak up, to be liberated from lifestyles that feel like boot camp, to be comfortable in our own bodies. So that’s the beginning — your desire for truth and light. When that desire is strong enough, you’ll start to look for your tribe, eat the right food, and honor your body and your time and your ideas.
Who’s been your greatest influence and inspiration on your health journey?
In terms of physical wellness, I’ve got a lot of respect for Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Anthony William aka the Medical Medium, Kris Carr, and Rich Roll. Both functional medicine and Ayurveda work well for my body and belief system. And food revolutionaries and documentarians! My must-watch list of documentaries includes “Cowspiracy,” “What the Health?” and “Forks Over Knives.”
And you can’t have physical vitality without spiritual clarity, so I’ve really drawn on the work of Pema Chödrön, Guru Singh, Marianne Williamson, and Eve Ensler for her poetic activism. As well as many other philosophers and brilliant mystics who’ve helped me see more clearly, especially Jiddu Krishnamurti.
Other than the book, what are you most excited about right now? What does the year ahead hold for you and for Danielle LaPorte fans?
I’m a maker, so it’s all about what I want to make next. A lot will come out to support “White Hot Truth” and “The Desire Map” community. And I may make a few naps happen for myself, preferably on a beach.
To read more about Danielle, check out Healthline’s exclusive Q&A where she talks about the magic of kale chips, the uplifting power of Freddie Mercury, and more.
For more on finding your truth and living your best life, watch our recent Facebook Live with Danielle!