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Conversations with the Inspiring Dannielle Alphonse

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dannielle Alphonse.

Dannielle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I could start by sharing about my life growing up in Michigan, my career as a Creative Director for a global aviation company or how I became an entrepreneur in my mid-thirties, studied viticulture and developed a wine brand — but sharing my heart’s true message with you, means so much more.

A few decades ago, I found myself looking in the mirror at a young woman looking back at me, who was confused, lonely and lost.

I had carried my difficult experiences around for decades, which resulted in living with body dysmorphia, shame, eating disorders, drinking habits and what I term, not-enoughness. In that mirror, my truth was blurred by my created inner-belief system. I had been covering my imperfection with a perfected façade, for myself and all to see.

In those years, I lived life like many still do — on auto-pilot — allowing life’s hand-outs to write my story. I hadn’t realized that I needed to lay down all that I was holding on to, in order to begin becoming all that I was truly intended.

As I began to take off my covering, the blurred woman in the mirror also began to come into focus. (Full-story on episode 50 of The Practice of Living as We Intend podcast – http://traffic.libsyn.com/thebeyouandthrivepodcast/EPISODE_50_Dont_stop_Just_wait.mp3)

This ‘action of doing’ (a process vs. a silver bullet moment), resulted in a brand-new discovery! Not only did I gain an understanding of the purpose and power within my own story, but its capacity to create forward movement in my life.

In 2016, my pursuit to fill a heart’s desire began developing and ‘Be You and Thrive’ was created.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’m glad that you have asked this because my journey to this current place that I am in has not been without challenge — yet each step and season of being static, has allowed me to get to this renewed position.

One of the key components that I teach via Be You and Thrive, is the power of movement within our own stories. The woman I once was — five, ten, fifteen years ago — is not the woman I am today. It is through your unique story that ‘you are becoming’ all that you were intended. Let’s walk through an example together: If I asked you to finish this sentence, what descriptor words would you choose to use?

“I am ________.”

I am strong? I am courageous? I am brave? I am enough? I am fulfilling my purpose? Or perhaps you would choose words more like these: I am confused, I am lost, I am doubting myself, I am incapable or I haven’t fully identified who or what I am. There is no right or wrong — it’s simply where you are at right now.

Next, ask yourself what words you would have used to complete this same sentence a decade ago. How would you have described your ‘I Am’ then? Do you see a difference? Can you pinpoint change or growth within your own description? I hope you give yourself an opportunity to run through this exercise!

More than likely, something or someone within your life has influenced you. They (or it) has impacted your ‘I Am’. Perhaps it shifted your paradigm, or you allowed yourself to discover the layers beneath an experience that you endured, in exchange for growth. Don’t be shy to dig deep and reflect on who has influenced you and how! I have one more question that relates to any struggles you have experienced, or are experiencing:

“What does not serve my ‘I Am’?”

Earlier, I asked how your ‘I Am’ has changed through the years and perhaps you have realized that it hasn’t. You may have found that you have been static or misplaced your truth within. There are people, chosen coping mechanisms, thought processes and an internal belief system that we develop over time—according to our experiences—that can act as obstacles that keep us from living in the fullness of who we are. They blur our ‘I Am’ and do not serve our personal growth.

In my experience, in order to live with abundance and in the fullness of who I am, I had to identify and take action with what does not serve me anymore, before successfully stepping into what does. Fulfilling the desires of your heart is a great internal process and oftentimes less of an external process.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Be You and Thrive’s story. Tell us more about the business.
I have a great passion to help women uncover their true ‘I Am’. I am saddened by this generation’s hustle-mentality and feelings of the need to prove oneself. Within this context of living, we lose the opportunity to resonate with our true and unique identity and therefore, we are blind to all that is available for us to give and receive. We are driven to believe that there are tiers of success, yet it is when we connect and work within our passions, gifts, and talents that we succeed.

When I founded Be You and Thrive two years ago, I committed to not establish a specific phased out plan of action. I intentionally went against my innate structured mentality, because I wholeheartedly desired it to not only fill the needs of others but to work in freedom and flow. I know this fundamentally sounds like a failed beginning to any business, yet this community I envisioned was being established by the heart. (Perhaps another nudge that ‘I am becoming’ all that I am intended!!!).

Daily, I have the unmeasurable gift to learn, teach, listen, and share my message through various platforms, including; speaking engagements, hosting The Practice of Living as we Intend podcast, providing resources on the Thrive Blog and being a conduit for women to share their stories and insights with other women.

The primary focus of Be You and Thrive, is to ignite a desire to refine how we think, do and become. I use the word ‘refine’ because it truly is a filter and polishing process. This process takes practice! It takes renewing our minds and it also takes action—I call it, ‘doing’. When we chose to turn off auto-pilot and engage with why, how and where we are today, we begin to resonate with our true identity.

The resources I provide are ever-evolving, as is the need for growth! It doesn’t take one tool, it takes many. My hope is that Be You and Thrive becomes one of the tools that women resonate with and engage in. This year I am in the midst of development, to expand more opportunities.

I personally have never experienced such an authentic community of women who support and encourage one another on their journey. It is my pure joy to be a part of the giving and receiving!

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
I absolutely believe that our parents and/or those in our lives, beginning at a young age, play a huge role in our current paradigm—who we see ourselves as today. Throughout my childhood and up to this moment in this interview, I can pinpoint various people within my life who have positively influenced the woman I am today. I am so grateful for their doing.

Yet, just like most who read this, I too had people in my childhood and young adult life that created confusion and hurt. This has influenced my work today.

In years past, I would think specific thoughts about others who I noted were accomplishing great things. My thoughts were something like this: “She has an advantage because of her education, or how she was raised, or her financial status or…”

My inner belief system was incorrect. I had to reconsider how I defined success. What did success look like for me? Why did I think it was truly dependent on my experiences? Could my unique and imperfect story lead me to it? The answer is yes. And it is for you, too. It isn’t as you think, it is as you do.

If you had a difficult childhood (or young adulthood) and magnify these specific difficulties, you will begin to carry them into your ‘now’. They will weigh you down. In this state of living in past, it is challenging to become successful with your future pursuits. Yet, if you begin to magnify those who championed you along your journey, and highlight your skills, talents, and gifts, you will eventually have the strength to move your past obstacles aside. To me, that is the ‘outsized role’ that sets us up for success in becoming all that we are intended. It widens our opportunities and allows freedom to flow within our lives.

May we each start creating movement forward through our unique stories, to create the success we desire! This is truly thriving!

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

22 Comments

  1. Theresa Bailey

    July 25, 2018 at 2:42 am

    What a positive message. I think in today’s world with technology abound it makes us question everything. Too many competing opinions everywhere. If you can find what makes you tick and live that truth you’ve got it figured out.

    • Dannielle Alphonse

      July 25, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Theresa! I’m glad these thoughts resonated with you, thanks for your comment. I couldn’t agree more with your insight about how we can question all that we are – social media can be a barrier in that regard (although it has such an ability to create positive community as well). In my experience, after discovering the truth within, it’s a continual ‘maintenance’ project to keep that well filled in order to stay above the doubt, question and outside distraction. We are all meant to do thrive!

  2. Lindsey

    July 25, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    This is so timely for me. I just embarked on a new business which allows me to follow my passion: providing allergy safe products and information to the many food allergy suffers. Thanks for sharing this story!

    • D at Be you and thrive

      July 25, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Lindsey! I am so excited for you!! What a joy it will be as your journey unfolds. Thank you for sharing your good news and would love to stay connected! xo~ D #BeYouAndThrive

  3. Maegan

    July 25, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    I loved reading the story behind Be You and Thrive! I especially liked the point that even if we are in a state of confusion or doubt right now, that’s not where we are stuck forever. It can be temporary.

    • D at Be you and thrive

      July 25, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      Amen and Amen Maegan!! 🙂 And thank you! (p.s.: I love how you spell your name!). I once thought stuck = stuck and that was my lot. But when we truly practice living intentionally and dig deep into who we uniquely are, we will find that “stuck” can actually be a hidden gift. #truth I’m so happy to connect with you here! xo~ D

  4. Tif

    July 25, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Wow what a beautiful soul! I like that she said you just need to take action- the hardest part is starting!

    • D at Be you and thrive

      July 25, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      Tif Tif Tif!!!! Thank you for warming my heart today! In my experience, when I began stepping forward and “doing”…(even with internal work), we begin to progress and grow. Would love to know more about your journey! Let’s connect! xo ~D

  5. Rebecca

    July 25, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    What a great intern! I look forward to diving into the podcast ! “Not- enoughness” is such a huge issue as women. It’s the constant voice I battle in my head. Thank you for sharing your story with authenticity!

    • D at Be you and thrive

      July 25, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      Hey Rebecca!! My pure honor to share with you! I couldn’t agree more about the general feeling of lack amoung women. And oh, hand me a microphone, because the fullness within, is plenty to fill and overflow any feelings of lack. I am so excited to connect with you in the podcast! xo~D

  6. Tanvi Rastogi

    July 25, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    What an inspiring and powerful store. I will check out the podcast mentioned.

    ❥ tanvii.com

  7. Allison

    July 25, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    What an inspiring message! As someone who is just starting a business this was a timely read for me. Thank you for sharing with us. I’m filled with renewed positive thoughts!
    Allison @
    LooksLikeHappy.com

    • D at Be you and thrive

      July 30, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      I am so grateful that this resonated for you Allison. I look forward to connecting and knowing more about your new business! Love the name of your .com! xo~D

  8. NJ Smith

    July 25, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    Thank you, Voyage Chicago, for sharing this interview. It is refreshing to read that she came face to face with her inner self and acted from her heart to birth Be You and Thrive. Her desire to help others realize that we can overcome regardless of past or present circumstances, is so needed in today’s society. Great article and podcast!

  9. Marie Therese Batt

    July 26, 2018 at 7:19 am

    So happy to read this! Congratulations Danielle!! xx

  10. Rebecca Hicks

    July 26, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    What an inspiring woman! I love reading about and following ladies who have overcome so much to get to where they are now. <3 Thank you for sharing!

    • D at Be you and thrive

      July 30, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      My great honor Rebecca. Thank you for reading a bit of my story. We each have so much to share with others! Our experiences can truly create movement forward in our lives! xo~ D

  11. Meghan

    July 27, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Definitely the hardest part is starting — this was so timely. Thank you!

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